DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, has agreed to pay $4 million to the state of Oregon to settle a lawsuit filed by the state. It was alleged that DePuy failed to disclose to physicians and patients that its hip implants had a high rate of failure. According to the Oregon Department of Justice, this is the first settlement of its kind. The settlement by DePuy with Oregon, announced last month, marks the first time DePuy has settled a government action alleging it made false or unsupported claims about its ASR XL metal-on-metal artificial hip devices. As we have previously reported, DePuy has previously settled thousands of suits over the ASR XL implant, which was recalled in 2010. DePuy still faces thousands of lawsuits in both federal and state courts.
It has been contended that DePuy repeatedly violated the Unfair Trade Practices Act by making claims about the ASR XL that were false, unsubstantiated or contradicted by evidence. Among other things, the state contended that DePuy falsely represented to Oregon physicians and patients that the ASR XL worked properly, when evidence indicated the device was failing at unusually high rates. In addition to the $4 million payment to the state, DePuy is prohibited under the settlement agreement from making any false, misleading or deceptive representations when marketing or promoting its hip replacement products.
In November, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits brought by patients who needed to have their faulty ASR XL implants replaced. Under that agreement, which was finalized in May, each of the 8,000 patients expected to participate in the settlement would receive a base award of up to $250,000, with a supplemental award possible for patients who suffered extraordinary injuries as a result of the revisionary surgery.
It should be noted, however, that the $2.5 billion settlement did not apply to Plaintiffs who did not have their implants replaced on or prior to Aug. 31. If you need additional information on the hip replacement litigation, including the Depuy cases, contact Navan Ward, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Navan.Ward@beasleyallen.com. Navan has been heavily involved in this litigation.
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