SOURCE: Meyers & Flowers

November 21, 2013 11:20 ET

Meyers & Flowers Announce $2.5 Billion Settlement in the DePuy Orthopeadics, of J&J, for ASR-Hip Implant Failures in Patients

TOLEDO, OH--(Marketwired - November 21, 2013) - Meyers & Flowers, a Chicago law firm specializing in medical device litigation, announced the $2.5 billion settlement by DePuy Orthopaedics, of Johnson & Johnson, for the more than 8,000 patients suffering from defective ASR-hip replacement devices implanted in their bodies. The announcement followed the settlement agreement approved in a federal court in Toledo, Ohio on Tuesday. Spearheading the litigation in Illinois for hundreds of patients, Peter Flowers, of Meyers & Flowers has filed suits in this case representing the thousands of patients suffering from these metal-on-metal devices who have undergone revision surgery across the country.

"The DePuy settlement is allowing people to recover some compensation for what amounts to be one of the worst medical devices ever created," Flowers said. "In a relatively timely basis, we can recover this compensation for their pain and injuries so they don't have to wait for litigation to float through the court system for years and years."

The DePuy ASR hip replacement device involves a flawed design of a metal ball that rotates in a metal cup mimicking the hip joint ball and socket movement. When implanted, the prosthesis with all metal surfaces causes grinding friction and metal chards to break off into the patients' bloodstream. Aside from the undue pain, the defective device and toxic metal debris can cause neurological disorders, bone erosion and development of tumors. The case alleges DePuy was aware of the harmful complications, yet the device was not red flagged for improvements but instead continued to enter the market place, the hands of surgeons and patients' bodies.

"Their own surgical consultants informed DePuy of the defects in the device and revisions needed to replace them, yet the company did not stop selling the ASR device instead they chose to phase it out," Flowers said. "Now, you have an enormous corporation willing to expend any amount of money to defend its products despite the fact that they recalled the product knowing it was defective."

In 2010, Johnson & Johnson's DePuy had to recall 33,000 devices in America and 93,000 worldwide after the FDA received more than a thousand adverse reports about the metal-on-metal device. In July 2010, a Class 2 recall was posted on the Food and Drug Administration's website. The Meyers & Flowers alleged DePuy knew the device was defective and harmful to consumers with a more than 40 percent, unacceptable failure and complication rate. As stated in the case filed against DePuy, the ASR-hip replacement device did not have to go through the clinical study rigors to gain clearance of the Food & Drug Administration because its components demonstrated substantial equivalence to a predicate medical device, and therefore received clearance based on a 510(k). The case alleged that there was insufficient clinical testing of the device.

"What this entire litigation and the resolution tells the medical device industry is that placing defective devices on the US market and into American citizens will not be tolerated," Flowers said. "The legal system will react to protect Americans and ensure that these companies will be held responsible. And as a final plea on behalf of our clients, we demand the medical device industry properly test your devices before placing them on the market and injuring Americans."

ASR is an acronym for Articular Surface Replacement and is prescribed for use of total hip replacement for patients suffering from severe pain or structural damage or deterioration of the hip joint. Different from a total hip replacement, the resurfacing system only replaces the ball and cap in the hip and must be anchored into the bone. Hip replacements on average have a lifespan of about 15 years but the DePuy ASR implanted device has shown to fail after only two years.

"This resolution of this particular medical device problem is going to have a trickle down effect on the entire economy for years to come," Flowers said.

About Meyers & Flowers

The top lawyers at Meyers & Flowers are currently representing clients from across the country in litigation against DePuy Orthopaedics over injuries sustained from using their ASR hip implant device. DePuy failed to inform our clients and their physicians of the dangers of their devices and, as a result, they suffered a variety of injuries and great pain. Meyers & Flowers has the expertise and experience to pursue the prosecution of large-scale litigation. Our attorneys have successfully won mass settlement cases against negligent or criminal device manufacturers.

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