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Hip Implant Failures Surge

In the face of epidemic of premature metal-on-metal hip implant failures, Johnson and Johnson adds 1,400 claims to settlement agreement.

Over 9,400 cases are now included in Johnson & Johnson's settlement agreement for hip implant failures. Thousands of people in the U.S. still have defective hip implants manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopeadics. Metal-on-metal hip implant failures can result in an accumulation of heavy metals in the blood called metallosis.DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle, Biomet Magnum, Smith and Nephew, Wright Conserve, Zimmer Durom cup and Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II, are among hip replacements that continue to fail prematurely and require painful and risky revision surgery. Johnson and Johnson (J&J), and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, has agreed to add another 1,400 hip injury claims to a settlement agreement reached in 2013. This new agreement extends the deal to include recalled ASR implants that were revised as of January 31, 2015. J&J had initially agreed to settle about 8,000 ASR lawsuit cases, that folks brought when their hip replacement failed and had to be removed prior to August 31, 2013. The initial agreement left several thousand DePuy ASR hip lawsuits in limbo. On February 20, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the federal litigation was notified that an agreement has been reached that extended the settlement program to include U.S. citizens or residents who received an ASR hip and had revision surgery on or before January 31, 2015. Under terms of the original agreement, plaintiffs will receive an average payment of $250,000 for pain and suffering, with the age of the plaintiff, the length of time the implant was in place, the weight of the plaintiff, whether they were a smoker, will be considered prior to a final award. Patients who developed "extraordinary injuries", and complications associated with the revision surgery, can also obtain additional compensation and all medical expenses will be covered by the manufacturer. Despite the settlements, there are thousands of people throughout the U.S. who still have a defective implanted DePuy ASR hip. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 ASR hips were implanted in the U.S. prior to the world wide recall. The metal-on-metal implant was recalled in August 2010, because of a high rate of failures associated with the flawed design. This defective hip released cobalt and chromium metallic debris into the body and the hip joint as the components grind against each other during normal use. This accumulation of heavy metals is known as metallosis. The metal-on-metal hip replacement system was recalled from the market after medical data found that about one out of every eight would fail within five years. More recent data has suggested that the DePuy hip failure rate may be substantially higher, ending up in the 35% to 45% range. J&J is continues to deny, delay and defend thousands of cases involving similar metallosis and premature failure problems from the DePuy Pinnacle hip. The DePuy Pinnacle is an older model that features a substantially similar metal-on-metal design. There are currently more than 7,700 DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits pending throughout the U.S. In the federal court system, as of 7/15/2015, all complaints involving problems with DePuy Pinnacle implants are centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas under U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade as part of a multidistrict lawsuit (MDL). The Dallas court has identified ten different cases that have been selected to be prepared for early trial dates. These early trials are known as "bellwether" cases. The trials help the parties gauge how juries may respond to similar evidence and testimony that is repeated throughout the litigation. A version of this content was originally posted by Shazed Malik MD JD on The Legal Examiner. Hip Implant Failures - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

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