In a development that bodes well for countless other people in a similar position, the plaintiff in the first trial over DePuy's ASR hip replacement systems has won a large jury verdict. The Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to this plaintiff today - an indication that other recipient's of the DePuy ASR implants are also entitled to compensation.
This lawsuit is just the first of around 10,000 similar complaints about the ASR product line. The ASR system is made entirely of metal components. When the joint components grind against one another, metallic particles can shed into the body - causing painful inflammation, tissue damage and blood poisoning.
Internal documents estimate that the ASR system will fail prematurely in as many as 40 percent of patients. Early failures require painful and potentially complicated follow-up surgeries. Because more than 90,000 people around the world received ASR implants, many more victims may have injuries as the result of premature device failure.
DePuy and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, have repeatedly denied all of the allegations that it knew about the defects and nevertheless aggressively marketed the product line to patients around the world. However, the company still anticipates spending as much as $1 billion on settlements and awards to other patients.
This is likely just the beginning of DePuy's defective device liability for the ASR hip implant.
Source: Associated Press, "Damages awarded in J&J's DePuy hip implant case," Greg Risling, Mar. 8, 2013