Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of DePuy Orthopaedics recently announced that it set aside $3 billion for patients and lawyers in product liability lawsuits, according to the New York Times. The set aside was largely related to the potential defective metal on metal hip replacement lawsuits that have been filed, and still may be filed, following the August 2010 recall of the DePuy ASR ™ XL Acetabular System and the DePuy ASR ™Hip Resurfacing System.
$3 Billion May Not be Enough
$3 billion is a big number – but it may not be big enough. Consider that:
- The number of lawsuits and the cost of the claims is still unknown. We are only 18 months out from the recall. Unfortunately, hips implanted prior to the recall may still fail prematurely and cause serious medical problems that we do not yet know about.
- The costs, pain and suffering associated with each patient. The financial, physical and emotional costs may be high.
- The $3 billion includes not only lawyers’ fees for defective hip cases but may include funds for other types of medical device product liability claims.
Protect Your Rights
Just because Johnson & Johnson has set aside money to pay for potential DePuy hip replacement settlements or verdicts does not mean that Johnson & Johnson won’t be required to pay more. The set aside is important to investors, and to patients collectively, who want to know that the company is planning for its potential payments. However, as an individual patient you need only focus on your individual case and recovering fair and equitable damages based on your unique situation.