A Los Angeles judge has recently upheld an $8.3 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson arising out of its defective ASR hip implants.
Loren Kransky, a retired prison guard, brought a claim against Johnson & Johnson having suffered serious injuries from a defectively designed hip implant manufactured by their DePuy orthopaedics division.
Mr Kransky’s claim was one of the first pending DePuy implant claims to be heard. He had been given a preferential trial date because he has terminal cancer.
DePuy sought to set aside Mr Kransky's $8.3 million verdict, which had been given in March 2013, because it claimed the jury had erred and its verdict was inconsistent. However, the jury found in favour of Mr Kransky and upheld his award. The court noted that there was 'strong evidence' in support of his claim.
Documentation disclosed during the Kransky trial revealed that DePuy executives and managers had put a drive to sell the product ahead of adequate safety tests. If the company had been patient, conducted premarket clinical trials in the US before product launch and disclosed information to doctors and patients when concerning issues came to light in 2006/2007, it could have spared thousands of patients from unnecessary complications.
At present, it is understood that there are approximately 12,000 claims being brought by DePuy ASR recipients. Any patients who suffer from failed ASR implants or have suffered through premature revision surgery or other ASR-related health problems may be entitled to compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Worryingly research into other models of metal on metal hips show it is not just those models manufactured by DePuy which have high failure rates. The MHRA has sent out a medical device alert warning about all metal on metal hips. The statistics seem to be deteriorating with each advancing year and it is yet to be seen whether more products are going to be recalled leading to more litigation.