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More than twelve thousand patients who received DePuy’s ASR XL or Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacements have sued DePuy over their malfunction, alleging that the company knowingly sold defective and dangerous products. The devices release metal debris into surrounding tissue, leading to a host of complications and an extremely high failure rate. DePuy ultimately recalled its ASR hip systems, but plaintiffs allege they knew of its problems long beforehand and even actively worked to suppress evidence of malfunction. Other manufacturers have issued similar recalls.
While the Pinnacle cases are waiting on the completion of bellwether cases, scheduled to begin in September 2014, the majority of the federal ASR cases have reached a settlement.
DePuy Hip Replacement Verdicts
Kransky v. DePuy (2013)
In one of the first suits to go to trial, Loren Kransky, a retired corrections officer, was awarded $8.3 million by a California state court over his defective ASR XL implant. The jury ruled that the defective device caused Kransky’s injuries, but also found that the company had properly warned of the device’s risks, declining to levy the $179 million in punitive damages that Kransky’s lawyers were arguing for. At least one juror wanted to award punitive damages, but ultimately the payout came to $338,000 for medical expenses and $8 million for pain and suffering.
Strum v. DePuy (2013)
A jury in Chicago ruled in DePuy’s favor, rejecting Illinois nurse Carol Strum’s allegations that her implant was defective. Strum’s attorneys had asked the jury for $5 million in damages, but Johnson & Johnson attorneys successfully argued that she had a hypersensitivity to the implant, pointing out that her pain did not diminish with a new implant. Four jurors wanted to rule in Strum’s favor. However, a unanimous decision was not required.