A jury in California on Mar. 8 ordered DePuy Orthopaedics to pay over $8.3 million to a man who says the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary knowingly made and marketed a faulty hip replacement device.
The Ohio DePuy hip implant lawyers at Rourke and Blumenthal LLC have been closely monitoring the trial of the first DePuy hip implant case since it began in late January in a Los Angeles superior court. The plaintiff is a Montana man, 65 year old Loren Kransky whose case was selected because he is suffering from terminal cancer.
Mr. Kransky's lawyers contend that hip manufacturer, DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, designed the hip defectively, failed to adequately test it, and failed to warn doctors and the public of its dangers. The lawyers say that Kransky's DePuy hip implant released metal debris that damaged his tissues and entered his blood stream. DePuy lawyers blame Kransky's health problems on his cancer and other medical conditions.
According to the N.Y. Times, Kransky's lawyers introduced documents during opening statements showing that DePuy executives knew that the ASR hip replacement had a design flaw years before they recalled the implant in 2010. Even before the implant was first marketed in the U.S., DePuy Orthopaedics had received complaints from doctors about the implant. In addition, the ASR implant failed a performance test performed by company engineers in 2007. The ASR implant wore out more quickly than a competing implant because of a design flaw in the cup component-a groove that limits the area inside the cup in which the ball can turn as the leg is moved. As a result, the ball tended to hit the edge of the cup wearing it out and releasing metal debris that can cause serious tissue damage and metal poisoning.
Company executives began to consider how to redesign the cup, but continued to actively market the device. According to one internal email, the company opted to "manage perceptions" in the short term, rather than inform doctors about the test results or recall the device.
On the sixth day of deliberations, the California jury returned the first verdict in the DePuy ASR hip implant recall litigation. Jurors were critical of DePuy for leaving the product on the market for years after DePuy knew that the ASR was demonstrating an unacceptably high failure rate and they found DePuy ASR was a defective product. The $8.3 million dollar verdict awarded to Kransky included $338,136 in damages for medical expenses and $8 million for physical pain and suffering. Although the jury did not award punitive damages, lawyers representing the former prison guard hailed the verdict.
This verdict is encouraging for all of the other DePuy ASR implant patients with lawsuits pending because it sets the bar high for future jury awards against Johnson & Johnson. A healthier plaintiff may even have an easier time convincing the jury that the implant caused serious injuries.
"This is a victory for Mr. Kransky and thousands of other badly damaged ASR patients who have yet to get their day in court," Brian Panish, one of Kransky’s lawyers, said in a statement. "Jurors across the country will return similar verdicts until J&J takes full responsibility."
Ohio DePuy Hip Replacement Attorneys
There are approximately 10,000 lawsuits regarding defective hip implants currently pending in state and federal court against DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson. About 7,000 have been consolidated in federal court in Ohio. The Ohio DePuy hip implant lawyers at Rourke and Blumenthal LLC are representing several plaintiffs injured by this device. To speak with one of our experienced hip implant attorneys, call (614) 321-3212. At Rourke & Blumenthal, an attorney will return your call within 24 hours. You will not be diverted to support staff. For more information please see our DePuy ASR Hip Replacement page.