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Johnson & Johnson to Pay $600,000 to Settle First Three Hip Implant Suits

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay about $600,000 to settle three, the first three, of approximately 8,000 lawsuits over hip implants that were recalled in 2010. The suits were scheduled to go to trial later this year.

J&J’s DePuy unit recalled approximately 93,000 ASR hips worldwide in 2010, saying that over 12% of the devices failed within five years. The defective implants caused patient pain and immobilization by joint dislocations, and infections and bone fractures.

According to a university professor who follows the pharmaceutical industry, J&J should have expected to pay between 200k and 500k, so they could settle at the low end of what they should have expected to pay. What does he know? Probably not much. What I can tell you is that it is always easy to pick off a few plaintiffs and underpay on the claim as a way of getting plaintiffs’ lawyers thinking that the cases are worth less than they think. Excellent strategy on their part, but let’s not fall for it. Some of these DePuy ASR cases will settle north of $1 million.

The company has said that it has spent about $800 million on the recall over the past two years, though it is being said that it may cost them as much as $2 billion in order to resolve all the litigation over DePuy’s ASR hips.