The New York Times reports Johnson & Johnson has “tentatively agreed to a settlement” that could see the company making up to $4 billion payments “to resolve thousands of lawsuits filed by patients injured by a flawed all-metal replacement hip,” according to two lawyers briefed on the plan. The paper says that under the settlement, patients with the implanted device – the Articular Surface Replacement – can have it removed “and replaced with another artificial hip.” Also, each patient would get a payout of about $350,000 “on average.” The ASR hip implant was sold by the company’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit until mid-2010, “when the company recalled it amid sharply rising early failure rates.”
Bloomberg News provides details of the recalled ASR hip implants, noting that 93,000 ASR hip implants were recalled worldwide in August 2010, with the company “saying 12 percent failed within five years. Internal J&J documents show 37 percent of ASR hips failed after 4.6 years.” The article says the settlement will be the second such multibillion-dollar agreement for the healthcare giant. The New Jersey-based firm said earlier this month it would pay $2.2 billion “to resolve criminal and civil probes into the marketing of Risperdal and other medicines.” Bloomberg also notes that J&J “also has agreed to set aside funds to reimburse Medicare and other insurers for claims paid on behalf of hip-implant patients,” and could raise the value of the settlement by hundreds of millions of dollars, according to sources close to the matter.
Reuters also covers the news.
From the American Association for Justice news release.