The settlement, which would allow ASR patients whose implants have not yet failed to join the agreement, is worth about $4 billion, Bloomberg reported. That works out to an average of $300,000 to $350,000 per plaintiff, according to the news service.
It would be the largest product liability settlement in history by a wide margin if it goes through, eclipsing Swiss medical device maker Sulzer Medica’s $1 billion settlement of lawsuits involving its recalled hip implant in 2002. That recall involved roughly 31,000 devices, compared with the recall of about 93,000 DePuy ASR implants.
Citing "3 people familiar with the deal," Bloomberg reported that the agreement would put to rest some 7,500 of the estimated 12,000 lawsuits filed in state and federal courts over the DePuy ASR device, which Johnson & Johnson pulled in 2010 after receiving reports that a higher-than-normal number of patients required surgeries to correct or remove defective implants.
Johnson & Johnson has already dropped $993 million on medical costs and informing patients and surgeons about the recall, a DePuy spokeswoman told the news service. The settlement could wind up costing more than $4 billion because it allows patients whose DePuy ASR implants fail in the future to seek compensation, the anonymous sources said. The deal’s provisions require at least 94% of eligible claimants to sign on or J&J can back out, they said.
In October, J&J settled 1 lawsuit filed over the hip implant, a month after a federal judge delayed for a 2nd time the 1st bellwether trial in the multidistrict litigation over the DePuy ASR implant (other cases are proceeding outside of the MDL). The 1st trial over the DePuy ASR implant settled in August 2012 before it could go to trial. In March, a jury awarded another plaintiff, Loren Kransky, $8.3 million after deciding that the device was defectively designed (California Judge J. Stephen Czuleger rejected DePuy’s request for a new trial in May). In April, an Illinois state jury found for DePuy in Carol Strum vs. DePuy Orthopaedics & Premier Orthopaedic Sales.