Many Americans are aware that certain metal-on-metal hip implant systems installed over the past 20 years have proven to pose a serious health risk to recipients. The defective technology, manufacturer recalls, and damaging physical consequences for patients with hip implants have triggered thousands of individual lawsuits which have returned or will return potentially billions of dollars to victims.
Europeans and Near Easterners Want American Justice and Compensation
In 2013, a unit of multibillion dollar multinational Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay an estimated $2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits brought by individuals who had allegedly been injured by the company’s artificial hip implant system. The settlement, related to Johnson & Johnson’s hugely profitable DePuy Orthopaedics implant system, is reportedly the highest ever for a faulty medical device. Another round of settlement occurred in 2015. Together the total amount that may be dispersed to victims may approach $5 billion.
While lawsuits by Americans continue to be filed and resolved over hip implant systems made by Johnson & Johnson and other huge corporations, in countries like the UK and India, where the implant systems are quite common, it has been much harder to obtain justice and compensation for victims. Indeed, recently India has seen a firestorm of media coverage and outrage from victims who have been unable to seek legal redress through the court system. This pressure has forced the Indian government to act, though victims complain it is moving too slowly. Having waited years for compensation, they want the Indian government to force Johnson & Johnson/DePuy to pay now so that they can start to heal both physically and financially.
Depuy Hip Defect & High Failure Rate
The Depuy ASR hip implant system consists of a metal ball and a metal cup. Over time, as the system wears down, the metal components shed metallic debris that creates particles that can damage tissue and in some cases cause crippling injuries.
Artificial hips typically last 15 years or more before wearing out and needing replacement. However, the Depuy ASR projections estimate that it will fail in 40% of patients within just 5 years.
According to the product liability lawsuits over the Depuy implants, Johnson & Johnson knew about the product’s defects along with its unusually high rate of failure long before this information came to light in public.