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Several bloggers and The National Law Journal are reporting that DePuy Orthopedics Inc. — long embroiled in litigation over its ASR hip implant devices —  may have quietly settled bellwether cases that were scheduled for trial.

According to Bloomberg News,  DePuy’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, is considering an offer to pay $3 billion to settle more than 10,000 cases brought over its ASR device.

The resolution of the cases follows on the heels of a March 8 jury award of $8.3 million against DePuy.

The litigation against J&J’s DePuy division exploded in the wake of discovery that its ASR products had a higher-than-normal failure rate. More than 1 in 10 patients who received the “metal-on-metal” device required revision surgery. Injuries include metal ion levels in the blood, necrosis, swelling, nerve, tissue and muscle damage.

The Rottenstein Law Group, LLP, which maintains information on the DePuy Settlements Information Center, reports that — after the federal cases were consolidated in Ohio — the Court set a September 24 date for the start of trial, but that case was delayed 90 days to allow time for pretrial document discovery and to schedule witnesses.

Shortly thereafter, Johnson & Johnson settled with the Plaintiff in a California state case, and in early October, a Bergen County District Court (New Jersey) case recorded a DePuy ASR case “resolved,” and removed the matter from its trial calendar.

Next, the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) panel may comment on the matter, which may signal how claims for those seriously injured by the ASR devices could resolve.





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