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Johnson & Johnson settles first of many defective product lawsuits

Many people in Troy have heard about the DePuy ASR hip implants and the problems manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has had with them. The artificial hips have been linked to tissue death, metal debris entering a patient's system, harmful levels of metal ions in the bloodstream and other medical concerns. As a result, people from across the country have filed 8,000 product liability lawsuits against the company.

When someone goes to the hospital in Troy for a medical procedure, he or she expects that the device that is being implanted won't cause him or her any harm. It is a safe assumption to make since medical devices need to be approved by government agencies before they can be used on people. Sometimes, however, the long-term effects of a device may not be known and patients could develop serious injuries over time.

It appears that is what has happened with the DePuy ASR hip implant. Within five years of implantation, 12 percent of the medical devices had failed and many people had developed bone fractures, joint dislocations and infections. As a result, Johnson & Johnson issued a worldwide recall in 2010. Approximately 37,000 hips had been implanted in the United States and nearly 56,000 in the rest of the world.

Three of the 8,000 cases have recently been settled, announced Johnson & Johnson. Each case would settle for approximately $200,000, but a business professor has said that the pharmaceutical giant should expect to pay between $200,000 and $500,000 per case. The manufacturer has said that it has already paid $800 million on the recall alone.

It remains to be seen if upstate New York patients will have their product liability lawsuits settled any time soon.

Source: Bloomberg News, "Johnson & Johnson to pay $600k to settle suits over recalled hip implants," Aug. 21, 2012

Please visit our website for more information on the DePuy ASR hip replacement.

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