Following a $2.5 billion settlement over faulty hip implants, manufacturer Johnson & Johnson may have to pay an additional $250 million or more to settle product liability lawsuits not included in the original case.
The Hip Implant Recall
The hip implants, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy unit, were recalled in August of 2010. The metal-on-metal devices were praised early on for their durability and range of motion; however, some patients who received them soon discovered a serious malfunction. Due to the metal-on-metal design, the implants were prone to a condition called mellatosis, which releases tiny particles of metal into tissue surrounding the hip and the bloodstream. This condition can cause severe complications, including bone and tissue damage, chronic pain and total failure of the joint.
In many cases, the device began failing within five years of its implantation. When the implant was recalled, patients who had received one began filing lawsuits against DePuy, claiming the company failed to properly warn them about the potential health risks.
Lawsuits and Settlements
In August of 2013, Johnson & Johnson began offering a settlement of $250,000 per patient to have the implant removed. Now, the company is considering offering the same settlement to those who had the implant removed after August 2013 or have yet to have it removed. The settlement is expected to resolve about 1,000 additional cases.
Those who suffered injury from the implant but did not have the device removed have not been eligible to participate in the settlement. These patients have the option of continuing their lawsuits in court or voluntarily dismissing their cases.
When all is said and done, Johnson and Johnson may have dished out as much as $4 billion as a result of the hip implant recall.
When to Involve a Product Liability Lawyer
If you have suffered as a result of a faulty, defective or recalled device, as those who received the Johnson & Johnson hip implants did, you may have a product liability claim. At the Khonsari Law Group, we represent clients who have been affected by the Depuy hip implant recall and are involved in the federal settlement. If you have a defective Depuy hip implant or any other medical product liability case, the Khonsari Law Group is experienced in handling your case.
To win a product liability case, you must be able to prove negligence. A manufacturer may be guilty of negligence if both of the following can be proved:
1. The manufacturer failed to comply with a legal obligation to design and manufacture a safe product.
2. The plaintiff suffered damages as direct result of the defect.