July 2, 2014 — The Oregon Department of Justice has announced a $4 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson involving the recalled DePuy ASR hip implant.
The settlement will resolve a lawsuit alleging that the company’s DePuy Orthopedics unit failed to tell physicians that the ASR XL “metal-on-metal” hip implant had an alarming rate of failure.
Between 2005 and 2010, approximately 432 of the devices were sold in Oregon. The settlement works out to about $9,259 per implant.
Johnson & Johnson admitted no wrongdoing and told MassDevice, “There is no admission of any legal violation, and DePuy denies any such violation.”
However, prosecutors for the state of Oregon contended that DePuy repeatedly violated the Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA):
“DePuy represented to Oregon physicians and patients that the ASR XL hip functioned properly, when evidence showed the hip was failing at unusually high rates. Even as other evidence and indications pointed to a critical design flaw in the hip implants, DePuy publicly maintained that their product was fine.”
The DePuy ASR was recalled in August 2010 after DePuy found an unacceptably high rate of failure. In 2011, another study found that 37% of the implants failed or required revision surgery in less than five years. Hip implants are supposed to last at least 15 years.
In May, Johnson & Johnson inked a $2.5 billion settlement for about 8,000 lawsuits pending in federal court. That settlement provides a base payment of $250,000 for each person who received the implant. Another $475 million was set aside to cover future medical costs.
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