November 20th, 2013 // 4:01 pm @ jmpickett
Johnson & Johnson this week stated that it will agree to pay out $2.5 billion to settle tens of thousands of suits from hip replacement patients who say that they were sold implants that were faulty that caused injuries and more surgeries.
The agreement will bring to an end about 8000 cases of patients who had to have their hip implants replaced or removed entirely. J&J removed the implant from the world market in 2010, after information showed that it failed faster than previous implants.
The settlement of the hip replacement suit will give about $250,000 to each patient, and will cover people who had their implants taken out before Aug. 31, 2013. The company is going to make most of those payments in 2014.
Johnson & Johnson stated this week that the settlement is not going to cover all of the lawsuits brought against the firm.
The artificial joint is called the Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) and it was sold to about 40,000 people over eight years in the US. J&J stopped production of the implant in 2009 and issued a recall in 2010.
J&J internal reports show that the company knew about the problems even in 2008. A deposition from an official at the company in 2011 showed that about 1/3 of the hip implants were predicted to fail within five years. These hip implants should last at least 10 years.
The lawyers for the firm say that the company did not do anything wrong.
For many years, most hip replacements were coated in ceramic and plastic. But about 10 years ago, many surgeons started to use implants that were all metal because studies showed that this would be more resistant to wear.
However, recent data showed that the devices tended to fail at a much higher rate. In 2012, a panel of government officials stated that there are few cases where a metal implant should be used.
Johnson and Johnson has gotten a lot of bad PR over this implant scandal. A J&J study indicated that the hip implant could fail within six years in nearly 40% of hip replacement patients.