Johnson & Johnson Tallies Costs For DePuy Hip Implant Litigation


Johnson & Johnson’s third-quarter earnings report, filed November 8, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) outlines a number of legal proceedings against which it is defending itself, specifically with some of its subsidiary units.

The reference to product liability cases, cited against its subsidiaries, describe the units as being “involved in numerous product liability cases” in which the “damages claimed are substantial … [m]ultiple products of the Company’s subsidiaries are subject to product liability claims and lawsuits in which claimants seek substantial compensatory and, where available, punitive damages.”

The earnings report references Johnson & Johnson’s medical device unit—DePuy Orthopedics—lawsuits concerning defective ASR and Pinnacle hip replacements. For DePuy ASR devices alone, the report cites about 3,500 pending lawsuits; another 560 were filed concerning DePuy’s Pinnacle hip systems, said The San Francisco Gate. Costs and expenses related to the lawsuits state that litigation and other DePuy ASR hip recall costs reached $223 in the fiscal nine months of this year, said the SF Gate.

The report also discussed the DuPuy ASR device, stating that “the number of pending lawsuits continues to increase. The Company continues to receive information with respect to potential costs associated with this recall.” The report also indicates that Johnson & Johnson created a “product liability accrual” in expectation of legal settlements and costs related to the ASR hip device recall, said the SF Gate.

The metal version of DePuy’s Pinnacle hip implant has been named in scores of personal injury lawsuit, noted NewsInferno, many are pending in a multidistrict litigation in federal court in Texas. Those lawsuits allege that the all-metal version of the Pinnacle is similar in design to the recalled DePuy ASR device. Many of the alleged Pinnacle injuries are similar to DePuy ASR complications. According to court documents, plaintiffs say the all-metal Pinnacle should have been subject to its own recall.

According to a British report, which drew data from the National Joint Registry for England and Wales, the DePuy ASR hip device failed in about one-third of the patients who the registry followed for the longest period, ThAccording to the registry, 29 percent of patients who received the ASR six years ago experienced failure and 17 percent who received the device five years ago experienced failures.

Concerns have long been on the rise concerning metal-on-metal hip implant devices that may shed small metal particles as components abrade against each other. Some patients may develop metallosis, an inflammatory reaction that can include pain, swelling, and rash, as well as other long-term health problems. .