Settlement Discussions Progressing For Thousands of DePuy Metal Hip Implant Lawsuits
Thousands of DePuy Pinnacle metal on metal hip injury lawsuits may be resolved in the coming days. According to reports, the company is close to finalizing a settlement agreement that would affect more than 10,000 plaintiffs. The lawsuits claim, among other things, that DePuy misled consumers about the potential risks associated with their popular metal on metal hip device.
DePuy Metal Hip Implants Associated With Severe Health Risks
DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is responsible for manufacturing some of the most popular metal on metal hip implant devices in the country. Metal on metal devices are designed to be a long-term, permanent solution for hip replacement patients. However, many metal systems, including those manufactured by DePuy, have been known to fail at alarming rates.
When the metal components of metal hip implants rub together, chromium and cobalt particles accumulate in the tissue and blood. This can lead to severe health issues, including:
- Loss of bone density
- Heart failure
- Osteolysis, and
- Adverse Local Tissue Reaction.
Many times, these conditions require hip implant patients to undergo revision surgery to remove and replace the defective device.
Lawsuits Accuse Johnson & Johnson of Making Misleading Claims
Lawsuits filed against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson claim that the companies made misleading claims about how safe and durable their metal implants were. Specifically, plaintiffs claim that DuPuy advertised that less than one percent of implant recipients would need revision surgery after three or five years.
However, studies have disproven these claims. DePuy metal on metal hip implants are associated with higher-than-normal failure rates.
- DePuy XL Metal on Metal Hip Implant: 7 percent failure rate
- DePuy Pinnacle Ultamet Metal on Metal Hip Implant: 4.28 percent failure rate
- DePuy ASR Metal on Metal Hip Implant: 12 percent failure rate
Other studies suggest that DePuy metal on metal implants have been demonstrated failure rates as high as 40 percent.
Johnson & Johnson Actively Settling Pending Metal on Metal Ligitation
Johnson & Johnson, and its subsidiary DePuy, have already paid out more than $1 billion to settle lawsuits involving defective metal on metal hip devices. Most recently, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $120 million to settle hundreds of Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits that had been pending in state courts across the country.
Even though Johnson & Johnson is actively settling metal on metal hip lawsuits, the company denies that it acted irresponsibly. It maintains that it developed, tested, and marketed its hip implant systems appropriately.
Why would Johnson & Johnson want to settle lawsuits if it claims that it did nothing wrong? First, litigation costs time and money. It can be less expensive in the long run to settle cases rather than proceeding to court. Second, Johnson & Johnson may have fears that it would lose if cases were litigated in front of a jury. Settling now resolves hip implant lawsuits with a degree of certainty. Finally, these lawsuits have probably created a PR nightmare for Johnson & Johnson. Settling the claims now puts them to rest and allows the company to move on.