FLASH: Jury deems J&J’s DePuy ASR XL hip implant defective in design, orders $8.3M in damages

hip implant x-ray

A California jury ruled against Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and its DePuy subsidiary in finding that the company’s ASR XL metal-on-metal hip implant was defectively designed.

The decision marks the highly anticipated close of the 1st of more than 10,750 such lawsuits against J&J. The jury dismissed claims that J&J failed to properly warn physicians about the risks of its metal hip implants, but ruled that the company was negligent and ordered J&J to pay $8.3 million in damages to patient Loren Kransky.

J&J issued a statement today defending its hip implant design and noting that it plans to appeal the ruling, adding that the jury rejected the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages on top of compensatory damages.

"We believe ASR XL was properly designed, and that DePuy’s actions concerning the product were appropriate and responsible," DePuy spokeswoman Lorie Gawreluk said in prepared remarks. "We plan to appeal the jury’s decision on design defect pending the outcome of post-trial motions. We believe we have a number of valid grounds for appeal, notably that the court didn’t let the company tell the jury about the Food & Drug Administration’s review and clearance of the device."

Johnson & Johnson pulled the DePuy ASR device in 2010 on reports of an abnormally high number of revision surgeries, later revealing that the recall cost it $271 million during the 1st quarter last year. An internal company study found that 1 in 3 metal hips could fail in less than 5 years, according to testimony in the Kransky case unveiled in January.

And regulators in the U.S. have launched a probe into possible marketing violations for the ASR hip.

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