In March, retired Montana prison guard Loren Kransky was awarded $8.3 million in damages by a California judge and jury in the first DePuy ASR lawsuit to go to trial. Johnson & Johnson’s attorneys asked Judge J. Stephen Czuleger to vacate the ruling and grant a new trial, but the judge opposed their request. More than 10,000 similar cases involving the recalled metal-on-metal hip replacement system have been filed in courts around the country.

DePuy ASR recall

Most of the DePuy ASR lawsuit filings came after the mid-2010 product recall. Manufacturer Johnson & Johnson was forced to acknowledge the higher-than-expected failure rate when a British study indicated that up to 49 percent of the implants became misaligned or dislocated within six years – which is much higher than the 13 percent failure rate the company had previously reported. An internal email that surfaced during the trial suggested that DePuy had arrived at the same conclusion before initiating the recall.

DePuy ASR lawsuit updates

Since the $8.3 Million verdict was reached in California court, one other trial reached a jury in Illinois state court, where the ruling was in favor of the defendant. Johnson & Johnson pointed to Illinois nurse Carol Strum’s longstanding history of allergies, migraines, chest and back pains, a family history of Crohn’s disease and apparent autoimmune problems as reason for her device failure.

Johnson & Johnson faces more than 10,750 DePuy ASR lawsuit complaints. Of these, about 500 have been consolidated into the state court of Illinois, Strum’s attorney told Bloomberg News. Three-quarters of the cases were centralized as MDL in federal court in Toledo, Ohio and another 2,000 will go before the state court in California.

The first bellwether trial in Ohio district court was rescheduled from May 6 to June 3, and again postponed to September 9, 2013. The defense is motioning to have DePuy ASR recall evidence excluded from the court hearings. The attorney representing the manufacturer is imploring that juries consider what the company knew between 2001 and 2003, when it was being designed – rather than in 2011, after the recall. They also want the courts to dismiss information on their other products – like the DePuy Pinnacle hip, Biomet M2A Magnum hip and Wright Medical Conserve Cup – which are also the subject of multiple complaints.

Bellwether trials set the tone

Bellwether trials are designed to gauge the strength of the arguments on both sides and the settlement ranges. The outcomes of these early trials will likely be repeated in the cases to come. Prior reports suggest that Johnson & Johnson has offered an average of $200,000 per case to resolve the litigation outside the courts, but most attorneys have rejected the settlement in favor of seeking much larger awards.

NY product liability attorney

New Yorkers who have suffered injuries from a DePuy ASR hip or any other hip replacement system are encouraged to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible to evaluate their eligibility for compensation, and to learn the pros and cons of filing a DePuy ASR lawsuit. For legal representation of the highest caliber and a proven track record fighting manufacturers of defective medical devices, call The Sanders Firm today. For a free case evaluation with a skilled NY product liability attorney, we invite you to call 1.800.FAIR.PLAY. ResourcesReuters, Insight: DePuy’s handling of hip recall sparks questions