(1) In 2001 Sulzer Medica AG issued a hip implant recall similar to the hip recall recently announced by Johnson & Johnson. Biz Journals reported that the Swiss based company’s American subsidiary Sulzer Orthopedics Inc. recalled 39,000 defective hip implants that put over 12,000 patients at risk of hip replacement failure. The hip implant manufacturer agreed to pay more than 3,500 hip replacement recall victims $200,000 each. The settlement value of the class action lawsuit totaled $1 Billion and was paid to victims over an 18 month period.
The Swiss medical device maker was able to avoid bankruptcy by settling the vast majority of hip recall lawsuits out of court. A small minority of the hip replacement patients chose to opt out of the settlement. In the only hip replacement lawsuit to proceed to trial, a jury awarded three women $15.4 million in damages.
As a result of the negative publicity caused by the hip replacement recall, Sulzer Medica changed the company name to Centerpule.