During the months of 2011 alone, Johnson & Johnson has reportedly spent approximately $223 million in litigation expenses, according to the SEC. The DePuy ASR Hip Replacement manufacturer is currently facing about 3,500 lawsuits regarding the recall, while the numbers of lawsuits continue to rise. With an increasing number of lawsuits, the Johnson & Johnson litigation costs will continue to rise deep into the millions.
In August of 2010, the ASR hip implant made by Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopedics division was recalled. According to studies, metal-on-metal hip implants release dangerous amounts of cobalt and chromium into the blood stream. Those types of metals in the blood can cause tissue damage, premature device failure leading to the need for revision surgery as well as long-term health problems. Aside from the damage caused by the ASR hip implants, the DePuy all-metal Pinnacle hip implants have also been at risk of a recall. There have been approximately 560 lawsuits filed against DePuy's Pinnacle hip implants as a result of complications similar to those suffered by the ASR patients.
Because Pinnacle Hip Implants hit the market several years before the DePuy ASR Implants and the sales of the Pinnacle have trumped the sales of the ASR, it is believed that the number of lawsuits against Pinnacle will be greater than those against ASR. According to the Food and Drug Administration, there have been thousands of complaints against metal-on-metal hip implant devices, not just against DePuy ASR and Pinnacle. The FDA ordered several makers of metal-on-metal hip implants to conduct tests to determine if those implants were releasing unsafe amounts of metals into the patients' bloodstreams.
If you or someone who know has a metal-on-metal implant device and has suffered any complications, please contact one of our product liability attorneys for a free consultation.