Johnson & Johnson lands jury’s favor in 2nd metal-on-metal hip lawsuit

hip implant illustration

A Chicago jury this week jury ruled in favor of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), rejecting a patient’s claims that the company was liable for injuries she allegedly sustained after receiving the metal-on-metal ASR XL hip implant.

The lawsuit is the 2nd tried in a long line of complaints against the metal hips and their manufacturer, DePuy Orthopaedics, which Johnson & Johnson acquired in 1998.

The jury, comprised of 7 women and 5 men, handed the win to Johnson & Johnson, denying all claims for damages, but the decision wasn’t unanimous.

"There was a majority that was for DePuy and a minority that was for the plaintiff," jury forewoman Ameenah Muhammad- Williams told reporters outside the courthouse. "Their case was not strong enough for all 12 of us to agree."

Plaintiff Carol Strum’s lawyers had argued that the components of the metal-on-metal hip implant had rubbed against each other and worn away, releasing minute particles of chromium and cobalt into her blood stream. They had asked for $5 million in compensatory damages.

Read more of MassDevice.com’s coverage of metal-on-metal hip implants.

Johnson & Johnson’s lawyers countered that the pain that Strum experienced after receiving the implant was due to "hypersensitivity," and that she didn’t experience any relief after replacing the ASR XL hip with a different device, Bloomberg reported.

The lawsuit was the 2nd of around 10,000 such cases in which patients have claimed that DePuy is liable for injuries related to the ASR XL hips, which DePuy pulled off of the market in August 2010.

The previous lawsuit against J&J and the ASR XL hips returned a $8.3 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Loren Kransky, who claimed the ASR XL implant was defectively designed. That jury also dismissed claims that J&J failed to properly warn physicians about the risks of its metal hip implants and denied punitive damages.

The plaintiff’s loss may have a cooling effect on some of the other pending complaints against Johnson & Johnson, one legal firm representing hip implant patients warned.

"Although this may slow the litigation down a little bit, we firmly believe that these DePuy settlement values are still worth as high as $500K in some cases," Legal-Bay client relations head Patty Kirby said in prepared remarks.

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