November 3, 2014 — Johnson & Johnson may pay $250 million to settle 1,000 more lawsuits involving the DePuy ASR, a metal-on-metal hip implant that was recalled in 2010.
According to Bloomberg, Johnson & Johnson is considering offering the same settlement terms that resolved about 8,000 similar claims last year for $2.5 billion, or an average of $250,000 per surgery.
The proposed settlement would resolve up to 1,500 lawsuits from patients who had revision surgery since August 2013, wrapping up about 75% of the total caseload. Johnson & Johnson has also offered to extend the time-limit to file a lawsuit for patients who were implanted with the ASR but have not had revision surgery.
The ASR was originally marketed as a longer-lasting hip replacement, ideal for younger and more active patients. Instead, studies found that the metal-on-metal design was prone to shedding toxic particles of chromium and cobalt.
Metal debris around the hip could cause pain, inflammation, swelling, metal poisoning (metallosis), and systemic reactions.
About 93,000 of the ASR implants were recalled in 2010, and Johnson & Johnson claimed the five-year failure-rate was 12%. However, internal documents showed that 37% failed within 4.6 years, and data in Australia linked the ASR to a 47% five-year failure-rate.
Johnson & Johnson was hit with nearly 13,000 thousands of lawsuits claiming they knew it had an unacceptable rate of revision surgery, but continued to promote it as safe and effective. Last year, a jury in California awarded $8.3 million to a retired prison guard who was injured by the ASR.
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