A Los Angeles jury has awarded $8.3 million in damages to a man who claims he suffered metal poisoning from an artificial hip implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopedics division.
The case is the first to go to trial of more than 10,000 involving DePuy’s ASR hip implant. According to a Bloomberg article, analysts predict that all of the lawsuits may end up costing Johnson & Johnson billions of dollars.
After six days of deliberations, the Los Angeles jury awarded the plaintiff $338,136 in damages for medical expenses and $8 million for physical pain and emotional suffering.
The ASR hip implants feature both a ball and a cup coated in a combination of cobalt and chromium. The plaintiff’s lawyers argued that the design is inherently defective.
A number of studies show that nearly half of the implants fail and need replacement after only a few years. They also tend to break off slivers of toxic metal debris in patients’ bodies.
Johnson & Johnson recalled 93,000 of the implants in 2010. But during the trial, lawyers for the plaintiff argued that the company knew of problems with the devices for years before that.
According to the lawyers, company officials failed to test the device adequately before selling it in the U.S. in 2005. The company later sat on surgeon complaints of increasing failure rates, and scrapped studies of a device redesign to address those problems.
You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns from a DePuy hip implant. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a DePuy hip lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
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