The DePuy ASR Final Settlement Agreement Explained—Important Considerations
With more than 93,000 DePuy ASR hip devices being implanted since the implant received FDA approval in 2005, the fallout from the DePuy ASR hip recall was huge. The DePuy ASR hip recall took place in August, 2010, after the FDA received hundreds of adverse event reports associated with the device. Many patients suffered symptoms of DePuy ASR hip metallosis or DePuy ASR hip cobalt and chromium toxicity. Thousands were forced to undergo risky DePuy ASR hip revision surgery in order to have the defective device removed and a safer device implanted. By 2013, more than 11,000 patients had filed a lawsuit against DePuy and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson. After a major loss in March, 2013, when Loren Kransky, a 65-year old retired prison guard from Montana was awarded $8.3 million for damages suffered from an ASR implant, Johnson & Johnson announced a DePuy ASR hip settlement agreement in November, 2013.
During Kransky’s trial, Johnson & Johnson attorneys attempted to say his prior health issues were responsible for his current problems rather than the ASR implant. At this point DePuy officials were continuing to maintain the ASR had no design flaws and was perfectly safe. Kransky’s attorneys argued Johnson & Johnson was aware of the design deficiencies of the ASR long before Mr. Kransky received his implant, but had no regard for patient safety. An internal e-mail dated May, 2008, was introduced in Kransky’s trial which stated “We will ultimately need a cup design, but the short-term action is to manage perceptions.” J & J finally “cried uncle,” and the settlement agreement was introduced. Even those patients who have not yet undergone the potentially risky DePuy ASR hip revision surgery may have suffered DePuy ASR hip metallosis symptoms such as extreme levels of inflammation, deterioration of bone and tissue, chronic pain in the hip, groin and thigh, loosening of the DePuy ASR hip implant and total hip failure.
Important Considerations in the DePuy ASR Hip Final Settlement Agreement
The final Articles of the DePuy ASR Hip settlement agreement discuss the following issues:
· Any and all available defenses remain available to DePuy with respect to litigation outside the DePuy ASR hip settlement agreement.
· DePuy states that enrolled program claimants with an unfiled claim will be subject to the running of any applicable statutes of limitations which may apply to their claim.
· DePuy retains control of the patient’s Release and Dismissal With Prejudice Stipulation until the company’s walk away rights have expired or the claimant’s part A base award has been funded.
· DePuy has the option to terminate the program and the Agreement if the enrollment in the program is less than 94% of identified persons (or those who should have been identified but were not).
· No dismissal stipulations shall be filed until DePuy’s termination or Walk Away Rights have expired and the funding into escrow of any part A base award has occurred.
· All parties must recognize that the objective of the DePuy ASR hip settlement agreement is to create a full and final resolution and to fairly compensate ASR hip implant revision patients.
· Because the settlement involves thousands of DePuy ASR hip implant recipients who are represented by more than 1,000 law firms, the Special Master has the discretion to determine the procedures associated with the actual process of the agreement.
Getting the Help You Need From a DePuy ASR Hip Lawyer
If you were not a part of the original DePuy ASR hip settlement which was finalized in November, 2013, and required claimants to have undergone revision surgery by January 1, 2014, you may be able to participate in this second round of settlements. The second round extension of the DePuy ASR hip settlement agreement was announced in March, 2015, and extended the deadline for undergoing DePuy ASR hip revision surgery to January 1, 2015. Don’t lose hope if you think you have missed your window of opportunity, rather speak to an experienced DePuy ASR hip lawyer about your eligibility for DePuy ASR hip monetary compensation. Don’t be one of the hundreds of DePuy ASR hip implant recipients to be left in limbo. While the deadline may well be extended a third time, you cannot count on this, therefore should take action now to ensure you receive deserved compensation for your DePuy ASR hip injuries.