Johnson & Johnson has announced that they will pay nearly $2.5 billion in compensation to settle thousands of lawsuits from individuals allegedly injured by the company’s artificial hip implants. More than 8,000 patients who received the implant had the metal artificial hip removed and replaced with another device (New York Times). The agreement for this settlement, which was approved by a federal court in Toledo, Ohio, is that $250,000 will be provided to patients who had their implants removed or replaced due to complications before August 31st of 2013. Johnson & Johnson will pay all medical costs that are related to these procedures, making the $2.5 billion closer to $3 billion.
The artificial hip known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or ASR, was implanted in 35,000 people in the US and more than 90,000 people worldwide within the eight years it was being produced (USA TODAY). Depuy recalled the ASR hip system in 2010, after data showed that it failed at a higher than expected rate. The ASR has proven to be one of the most flawed medical implants sold in recent decades. While patients complained time and time again of discomfort and injury after the implantation, Johnson & Johnson denied that there were any issues.
In most cases, artificial hips made from metal and plastic will last for 15 years before needing to be replaced. The ASR, which was made of a metal ball and cup, broke down and shed debris causing damaged tissue and crippling injuries. According to the DePuy Orthopedics division of Johnson & Johnson, a 2011 company review of a patient registry concluded that more than one-third of the implants were expected to fail within five years in 40% of their patients who received the implantation (New York Times).
The company’s lawyers have denied that Johnson & Johnson did anything wrong, although documents during this case have shown that the company was well aware of the issues with this device for many years. “It isn’t completely over, but this is a step in the right direction,” said Peter Flowers, a lead counsel for the hip patients (The Wall Street Journal).
There are times that we need to go to the doctor to get help with our health and put our trust in a medical professional’s hands. We can never be completely sure that their suggestions for treatment such as medication and surgeries are 100% safe. When we find out they are not, it can result in confusion, pain and suffering. Often, these issues can cost money and possibly lead to a lawsuit. When faced with a medical lawsuit, it can take years before the case settles. During this time, if you and your loved ones need money for medical or everyday living expenses, presettlement funding might be right for you.No Comments