Friday, December 27, 2013

DePuy ASR Settlements May Leave Thousands Without Recourse

Injury Lawyer News

The DePuy ASR recall has cost Johnson & Johnson millions of dollars in litigation and medical expenses, and despite a $2.5 billion settlement proposal to compensate 8,000 hip replacement patients, the accord may still leave thousands of injured recipients in a financial lurch.

depuy infographic, depuy hip lawsuit infographic, depuy hip settlementsConcern is centered around the many hundreds of patients who had their hip revision surgery after the accord’s deadline – August 31, 2013. For these individuals, or those who have yet to need corrective surgery, it’s unclear whether they will see a dime of compensation for DePuy hip problems, even though the modular device is known to suffer design flaws and high failure rates.

Under the terms of the agreement, DePuy ASR settlements would offer patients a base award of $250,000, but this figure would be adjusted based on several factors including the patient’s complications and extent of injuries, medical history, age and length of hospitalization.
Critics of the settlement argue that the deal’s payout structure is vague. Do ASR settlements include lost wages for those who couldn’t work while they were recuperating? And what about patients who were implanted with the metal-on-metal hip but have yet to experience any problems, though they are bound to suffer complications in the near future?

Injured patients in outrage over proposed DePuy ASR settlements

In order for the DePuy hip settlement to proceed, at least 94 percent of ASR recipients must agree to the accord’s stipulations and file claims on or before April 1, 2014. Should participation levels fall short, DePuy reserves the right to walk away from the deal on June 1, 2014.  According to the New York Times, the accord was proposed to Ohio District Judge David A. Katz on Tuesday, November 19.

DePuy voluntarily pulled all Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip systems off the U.S. market in 2010 after the National Joint Registry of England and Wales published alarming failure rates of the device.  The report revealed that ASR hip implant failure, which required replacement surgery, was between 12 and 13 percent within the first years of implantation. However, the manufacturer has since stated that ASR hip complications and failure is likely in 40 percent of recipients within the first five years.

The DePuy ASR recall affected roughly 37,000 units in the United States and 93,000 globally.
An estimated 12,000 DePuy ASR hip lawsuits are currently pending in state and federal courts, with nearly 8,000 of these claims brought by patients who endured hip revision surgery. The remaining 4,000 product liability cases involve claimants who suffered metal contamination and other debilitating side effects from the modular components, which were prone to corrosion and fretting.

Compensation for DePuy hip problems

If enough claims are made, the settlement would cover around 8,000 patients in the U.S. who had the ASR hip implant explanted due to premature wear and complications.

The amount awarded to each person would depend on:

  • If the patient smoked at the time of revision surgery
  • How long the ASR device was implanted
  • If the person had hip replacement on the same hip before receiving the ASR
  • A body mass index (BMI) of more than 35 before ASR implantation
  • The patient’s age
Those who sustained “extraordinary injuries” related to the metal hip implant – such as double revision surgery in both hips – would qualify for supplemental compensation, according to hip replacement lawyers and other settlement administrators.


 

3 comments:

  1. This is really an exstriodinary situation. I inadvertently told that I might have this implant after experiencing several complications. I finally discovered I had metalosis and needed the rivision surgery. I believe Johnson & Johnson should be liable for cases that adversely affected each person. These were all life threatening situations rather minute or small to them!

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  2. Are people really accepting the offer that Depuy has announced? In my opinion the settlement offer is a very low offer and in many ways points the blame of the hip failing on the patient. I received my first depuy implant when I was 37 years of age , my doctor advised me that the implant would give me more mobility and that the previous pain would go away. Prior to the implant I was very active, a structural welder working 60 to 70 hours a week. I loved my job and the life that I had. I'm 42 years old now and on disability. I have endured two additional revision surgeries and have had many complications due to the implant. During one of the revision surgeries I almost died due to a pulmonary embolism that caused my lungs to collapse. Two days later my lungs collapsed again. This all occurred in 2010 and I still have to use oxygen today. I also still use a walker or wheelchair to get around. The pain is definitely more intense now than it ever was prior to the original implant. Had I been properly informed of all the risk and side effects associated with the implant, I would have never had the surgery! I feel that big corporations like Johnson and Johnson take advantage of consumers, they continue to put items on the market without considering the risk or the harm that it causes. They continue to put human life in harms way due to the profit they earn outweighing the cost of any settlement they may have to pay. What is it going to take to stop corporations like this one to stop putting financial gain above the health of human life?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, there are almost 4000 people who have to accept the settlement before Depuy will accept it.

      I do agree that it is a very low settlement. Lots of exposure in my mind.

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