$8.3 Million Verdict Against J&J's DePuy Unit Over ASR Metal Hip

Jane Akre
March 8, 2013
DePuy ASR Hip

DePuy ASR Hip

March 8, 2013 ~ Johnson & Johnson must pay the plaintiff who brought the first DePuy metal hip implant device to trial $8.3 million in damages, a Los Angeles jury decided this afternoon.

This is the first of 10,750 product liability lawsuits against J&J’s DePuy unit which makes the ASR XL hip replacement device.

The ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) was recalled in August 2010.

Loren Kransky, a prison guard, brought the product liability action. The 12-person jury declined punitive damages deciding DePuy Orthopedic did not act with fraud of malice, reports the New York Times.

The metal hip was approved by the Food and Drug Administration using the 510(k) approval process naming a substantial equivalent before launching the product. The cup and ball components are made of chromium and cobalt and can leave metal ions in the bloodstream and at the implant site.

J&J plans an appeal.

Two Weeks, Two Product Liability Trials

The legal department there will be busy.

Just last week Linda Gross and her husband Jeff were awarded $11.1 million in the first product liability lawsuit against J&J’s Prolift transvaginal mesh made by its Ethicon unit. That award did include $7.76 million in punitive damages after the 9-person jury found the company failed to provide adequate warning about the Prolift and made a fraudulent misrepresentation or deceit to Linda Gross.

The jury did not find the Prolift had a defective design.

Next week the second ASR lawsuit is scheduled to begin in Chicago. Some analysts say the ASR defective metal hips could eventually cost the company billions of dollars to settle.

The New York Times has more here.

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