During the middle of March 2013 a jury in Los Angeles decided that a former prison guard from Montana, Loren Kransky, was entitled to $8.3 million in damages for harm caused by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy subsidiary’s metal hip implant.
The jury found that the ASR XL implant caused metal poisoning and other health problems for Kransky and were severe enough to cause the man to undergo painful revision surgery to remove the defective device. The jury found that DePuy knowingly marketed a faulty device and owed the injured patient millions as a result. However, the jury did not find that the company had acted with malice. This is important because it prevented Kransky from colleting punitive damages.
The major suit was the first of the more than 10,000 filed against J&J since the hip recall was issued two years, impacting more than 100,000 of the all-metal implants. The recalls were issued after studies showed unusually high rates of failure for the implants and incidents where patients had been left with metal poisoning, painful joints and other internal injuries due to metal shavings in the bloodstream released when the joints would rub against each other.
Studies have indicated that the DePuy ASR implant will likely see failure rates that result in subsequent surgeries to remove the device of close to 40% over five years. That rate is astronomical compared to the failure rates for other kinds of hip implant devices. For instance, typical metal-on-plastic hip implants have five-year failure rates of only five percent.
J&J revealed it has set aide more than $1 billion to cover the costs of the lawsuits. Given the high price of the recent case, some legal experts are wondering whether that amount will be sufficient to cover the costs. Tens of thousands of patients across the U.S. have such all-metal implants and are now looking at painful and costly revision surgeries to remove the faulty device.
If you would like to speak with a Ridgeland, Mississippi medical malpractice attorney about a potential medical malpractice claim, call the Ridgeland Mississippi medical malpractice lawyers at Kilpatrick & Philley today at (601) 856-7800.
Source: “Damages awarded in J&J’s DePuy hip implant case,” by The Associated Press, published at AP.org.
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