Tuesday, November 19 was a big day for the 8,000 patients who have had to undergo painful hip revision surgery after receiving DePuy Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip implants. Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the implants, agreed to pay the patients $2.475 billion in compensation and cover all costs related to the revision surgery.
Two versions of the ASR hip implant were used in the United States: one for traditional hip replacement and the other for hip resurfacing. The devices were implanted in about 93,000 patients worldwide. One-third of the patients were located in the United States.
The DePuy implant was recalled in 2010 after a large number of patients reported early failure of the artificial hip. A typical hip implant lasts about 15 years. A Johnson & Johnson study found that the ASR implant would fail within five years in 40 percent of the patients who received the device. Once the device fails, patients have no choice except to have it replaced with another implant.
Early failure was not the only problem. The metal-on-metal implant may generate metallic debris that can cause a dangerous condition called metallosis. In some cases, the debris has been linked to metal poisoning. More than 12,000 U.S. patients filed claims for injuries related to the ASR implant.
The hip implant settlement will provide patients who have undergone revision surgery with about $250,000 for pain and suffering before legal fees. Some patients will see smaller payouts because the plan imposes a user fee based on how long the patient had the DePuy implant. A patient who has the device for five to six years will receive an average payout of $225,000, while a patient who had the device for six to seven years will receive an average payout of $200,000. Patients who are overweight, elderly or smoke will also get reduced payments. About ten percent of patients will receive increased payouts because of the severity of their injuries. This includes patients who had hip revision surgery in both hips and patients whose hips were so severely damaged that revision surgery could not be successful. Medical costs will be paid separately.
The exact value of settlement will depend on how many patients qualify for compensation. Patients who did not undergo revision surgery will not qualify for payment under this agreement, but may qualify for future settlements. The agreement will not go forward unless 94 percent of eligible claimants agree to the conditions.
Do you have questions about how the Johnson & Johnson agreement affects you? Contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.