Smiley & Smiley, LLP

Massive DePuy hip implant settlement is announced

Ten years ago, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing giant Johnson and Johnson (J&J) began marketing hip replacement technology that was made of metal balls and metal cups. These DePuy hip implants were implanted in approximately 93,000 patients before J&J was compelled to recall them in 2010, according to the New York Times. These metal-on-metal implants shed metal debris into the bodies of patients, causing many to suffer excruciating pain, crippling injuries and tissue damage.

After years of evidence gathering, negotiations and media scrutiny, Johnson and Johnson has finally announced that it will pay just under $2.5 billion to approximately 8,000 patients compelled to have their DePuy hips removed and replaced. This figure does not include the cost of surgical replacement procedures, which J&J has also agreed to pay.

In all, the deal is expected to award each “average” patient requiring replacement surgery approximately $250,000 before surgical replacement costs and legal fees. Though no amount of money can make up for extreme pain, crippling injuries and tissue damage, the deal will hopefully allow patients both compensation and some sense of closure in regards to the legal proceedings many have been navigating for years.

Before the settlement can be finalized, it must be approved by 94 percent of the claimants eligible for reimbursement under the award. The proposed settlement has been submitted to a federal judge for review. Many patients may opt not to approve the settlement in order to opt into individual lawsuit claims. We will keep you updated as this story progresses significantly.

Source: New York Times, “Johnson & Johnson in Deal to Settle Hip Implant Lawsuits,” Barry Meier, Nov. 19, 2013

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