US company to pay $2.5B in hip replacement suits (Update)

November 19, 2013 by John Seewer

Johnson & Johnson said late Tuesday that it will pay $2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits brought by hip replacement patients who accuse the company of selling faulty implants that led to injuries and additional surgeries.

The agreement presented in U.S. District Court in Toledo, Ohio, is one of the largest for the medical device industry. It resolves an estimated 8,000 cases of patients who had to have the company's metal ball-and-socket hip implant removed or replaced. J&J pulled the implant from the market in 2010 after data showed it failed sooner than older implants.

The deal provides roughly $250,000 per patient and covers those who had their implants removed or replaced before Aug. 31 this year. The company expects to make most of the payments to patients in 2014.

J&J's DePuy unit said in a statement that the deal does not cover all lawsuits pending against the company.

"DePuy will continue to defend against remaining claims and believes its actions related to the ASR Hip System have been appropriate and responsible," the company said.

The artificial hip, known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or ASR, was sold for eight years to some 35,000 people in the U.S. and more than 90,000 people worldwide. J&J stopped making the product in 2009 and recalled it the next year.

However, internal J&J documents unsealed in the case suggest that company officials were aware of problems with the device at least as far back as 2008.

Also, according to a deposition from a J&J official, a 2011 company review of a patient registry concluded that more than one-third of the implants were expected to fail within five years of their implantation. Orthopedic hips are generally supposed to last at least 10 to 20 years.

The company's lawyers have denied that J&J acted improperly.

For decades nearly all orthopedic hips were coated with plastic or ceramic. But a decade ago many surgeons began to favor all-metal implants based on laboratory tests suggesting the devices would be more resistant to wear and reduce the chances of dislocation.

But recent data from patient registries show the devices actually fail at a higher rate than older implants. Last year a panel of government advisers said there are few, if any, cases where metal-on-metal hip implants should be recommended.

Explore further: Report: J&J recalls thousands of hip implants

Related Stories

Report: J&J recalls thousands of hip implants

February 14, 2013
(AP)—A German newspaper reports that Johnson & Johnson is recalling thousands of hip implants 2 1/2 years after a similar recall.

US probes J&J on recalled hip implant marketing (Update)

February 22, 2013
(AP)—U.S. prosecutors are investigating Johnson & Johnson's practices in marketing a line of hip replacements recalled in 2010 because many had to be replaced within a few years—part of a string of more than 30 product ...

UK says metal hip replacements more troublesome

September 16, 2011
(AP) -- People who get metal hip replacements are more likely to need a replacement compared to those who get a traditional plastic one, according to a new report from a large British registry.

EU lawmakers move to tighten controls after implant scare

October 22, 2013
The European Parliament moved Tuesday to tighten controls on the safety of medical devices in the wake of a worldwide scare over faulty breast implants from France.

Hip implant patients with unexplained pain likely to have tissue damage

March 20, 2013
The cause of unexplained pain among metal-on-metal hip implant patients is more likely to be tissue damage than wear of the implant, Hospital for Special Surgery researchers have found. The study, performed by Dr. Danyal ...

MRI may predict adverse tissue reaction in metal-on-metal hip replacement patients

March 19, 2013
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can detect a failing, or potentially failing, metal-on-metal hip implant (MoM) early on, according to a new study presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic ...

Recommended for you

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

Best of Last Year – The top Medical Xpress articles of 2016

December 23, 2016
(Medical Xpress)—It was a big year for research involving overall health issues, starting with a team led by researchers at the UNC School of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health who unearthed more evidence that ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.