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Johnson & Johnson Resolves Hip Implant Lawsuits for $1 Billion Dollars

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J&J’s latest settlement may resolve most of 6,000 DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits that accused the medical equipment manufacturer of selling defective metal-on-metal hip implants.

Dallas, TXJohnson & Johnson has come up with $1 billion dollars to settle as many as 95 percent of the 6,000 lawsuits filed by patients who needed to have metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implant devices removed due to severe pain. This amount includes a prior settlement for over $400 million.

It has taken over four years of litigation to arrive at these settlements – a long time for injured patients. Some patients who required revision surgery to replace the failed device could barely walk, and that comes with its own set of problems. And along with each revision surgery, the chances of complications increase, including infection. The more seriously injured will be paid higher settlement amounts.

This latest settlement dates back to February of this year, when J&J prepared to face claims in federal court in Dallas by five Pinnacle hip patients who blamed the devices for their injuries, including metallosis, or metal poisoning, said Mark Lanier, one of the plaintiff’s leading lawyers.

In January, J&J-- the world’s largest independent biotech company-- agreed to settle 46 state attorneys generals’ claims for $120 million. They accused the company of making deceptive marketing claims about the hips’ durability. J&J argued that 99.2 percent of the metal-on-metal hips held up for three years, but European health regulators put the rate at approximately seven percent.

DePuy Pinnacle Problems



Thousands of patients implanted with the DePuy Pinnacle hip reported to the FDA problems soon after it was approved, including unexplained hip pain and hip implant failure. They claimed the metal-on-metal design allowed metal debris to come loose from the device, which was ultimately absorbed by the patient's surrounding tissue. As well, many patients said they developed metallosis. The metallic debris could also be absorbed into the patient's bloodstream and result in high levels of metals, including cobalt and chromium.

Despite reports of the Pinnacle failure and about 57 lawsuits filed against the manufacturer, the FDA in 2011 approved a new Pinnacle device.

DePuy stopped selling the metal-on-metal Pinnacle devices in 2013 after the FDA strengthened its artificial hip regulations, but that was too late for many hip replacement recipients.

DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuits Pending



This settlement still leaves about 4,500 lawsuits pending where patients claimed for liabilities on artificial hips that were not made entirely out of metals, or had not yet been removed surgically, according to Bloomberg (May 7). It is unclear how many of those lawsuits remaining will be settled, but a spokeswoman for the giant pharmaceutical company said in a statement that negotiations for the Pinnacle lawsuits are continuing and that Johnson & Johnson has set aside funds for the litigation. Instead of setting up a global settlement program, attorneys for J&J’s DePuy unit, the Pinnacle hip replacement manufacturer, cut separate deals with plaintiffs’ lawyers to resolve their clients’ cases, said the Bloomberg report.

The Pinnacle case is In Re DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 11-md-2244, U.S District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).

READ ABOUT DEPUY PINNACLE LAWSUITS

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I had my hip replaced on 9/25/2006. On 3/24/2018 I woke with extreme pain in my replaced hip. I went to the hospital where I stayed for about 3 weeks. The cause was a infection in my hip. I went septic during that stay and almost died. I had to have physical therapy to learn how to walk again. On 3/8/2019 a hip a large abcess on my hip and was in the hospital again. It has been determined that the abscess is caused by my metal to metal hip and I will have to have the hip replaced. We have tried to get the records of what type hip I know have but the records have been lost.

Posted by

on
They settled my case and said I the metal in my blood was not from the hip os there anything I could do since it was settled

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