Court documents reveal that in connection with the Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip systems, DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. and its mother company Johnson & Johnson face nearly 20 lawsuits everyday. The number of cases filed has already surpassed 2,600 and more is expected with an estimated 37,000 patients in the United States having received the devices before a worldwide recall was issued in August of 2010.   Thousands have been reimbursed by Johnson & Johnson to Australians in recall claims in other countries.
With several of the lawsuits consolidated into a multidistrict litigation, Judge David A. Katz of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio who is handling the MDL called for a status conference of the DePuy hip replacement lawsuit this month. The consolidated lawsuits alleged the following:
* That DePuy and Johnson & Johnson designed and sold a defective hip implant;
* That they failed to adequately warn both doctors and patients about the implants high failure rate;
* That they failed to inform the public that the implants put patients at an increased risk of metal poisoning caused by the cobalt and chromium particles which flake off from the device and accumulate in the soft tissue surrounding the implant area.
Last Nov. 8, 2011, Johnson & Johnson filed its third quarterly earnings report at the US Securities and Exchange Commission which was highlighted by litigation expenses and recall costs associated with DePuy ASR and another of its product—the Pinnacle hip implant.   Various legal proceedings that Johnson & Johnson is currently defending is detailed in the report, disclosing that its “subsidiaries are involved in numerous product liability cases” in which the “damages claimed are substantial”.  Latest lawsuit filings are that of  Michael Schaff in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and that of the Tucker couple—Charles and Michelle of Gaylesville, Alabama, are the latest filings.
Schaff claimed that DePuy’s alleged negligence had caused him to suffer injuries as a result of a faulty DePuy ASR hip replacement system and is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.   Filing a federal lawsuit, the Tucker couple is seeking damages stemming from faulty hip replacement devices.  It was claimed in the lawsuit that Charles Tucker sustained and will continue to sustain severe physical injuries, severe emotional distress, mental anguish, economic losses and other damages.
According to the report, there are approximately 3,500 pending ASR hip implant lawsuits following the Depuy ASR Recall.  Furthermore, Johnson & Johnson’s quarterly earnings report recorded $223 million in litigation expenses and additional DePuy ASR hip recall cost in the fiscal nine months of 2011.      


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