Did patients draw the short stick in $2.5B J&J metal hip settlement? | MassDevice.com On Call

MassDevice.com On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — When Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) agreed to a $2.5 billion settlement to close some 8,000 cases over its metal-on-metal hip implants, about 1/3 of that money went to the lawyers and legal teams representing the cases.

Lawyers took an average of $90,000 of each patient’s $250,000 award, according to a New York Times report, a hefty cut that has some patients irked about the value that their legal representation brought to their cases. One patient told the Times that he estimates that his lawyer did less than $4,000 worth of work, gathering medical records and paying legal fees.

Law offices ramped up their internet and television marketing in the weeks and months preceding Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuit, some gathering hundreds of claims.

The 33% cut has some patients up in arms and refusing to accept the settlement, especially those whose award was lowered due to the length of time that they had the implant or by other limiting factors such as age and weight, according to the report.

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson confirmed earlier this month that it agreed to a $2.5 billion settlement to close the books on one of the multi-patient lawsuits over recalled metal-on-metal hip implants made by subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics.

The settlement closes a major chapter, but the story is far from over. There remain some 4,000 other lawsuits over the metal-on-metal hip replacement systems and patient advocacy groups want more than compensation; they want tighter oversight of the medical device industry.

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