As many already know, over 10,000 lawsuits have been field across the country against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of the Depuy ASR model hip. This particular model, which had been recalled in July, 2010, has a relatively high failure rate, causing severe and sometimes debilitating injuries to those with the implant.
While there are several Bellwether cases scheduled for trial over the next several months, a case in California, slated for trial in mid-October, settled for an undisclosed amount. This is just one of several cases that have settled prior to trial. To date, two cases have been tried resulting in a plaintiff’s verdict in excess of $1 Million, and the other, a defense verdict.
It is has been widely rumored that Johnson & Johnson has been discussing settling the ASR cases for approximately $3 Billion, which would average about $300,000 per plaintiff. It remains unknown if Johnson & Johnson will first look to take another case or two to trial before seriously discussing the settlement. Presumably, if J&J is successful at trial, it could further delay any settlement, or significantly reduce the amounts being discussed. On the flip side, if J&J loses at trial, the potential settlement amounts being discussed could increase, or at the very least, could force the matters to settle sooner than later.
Plaintiff’s had hoped for a 2013 resolution to the ASR hip cases, but it is looking more and more like they will have to wait until the middle or end of 2014 before any resolution is reached.