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Jury Renders Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson in First Allegedly Defective Hip Replacement Implant to go to Trial

This blog has recently discussed the matter of Johnson & Johnson’s faulty hip implants. The Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) was released in the United States in 2005 and recalled in 2010. It is now the subject of more than 10,000 lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson. The first of these to go to trial was in Los Angeles, California and the jury recently decided in favor of the plaintiff.

Loren Kransky, a retired prison guard, was not supposed to be the first of the 10,000 cases to go to trial. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer though, and his case was moved up. The jury deliberated for five days before finding the device faulty and awarding Mr. Kransky $338,000 for his medical bills and $8 million for his pain and emotional suffering. They decided against issuing punitive damages because they did not believe that DePuy acted with fraud or malice.
Johnson & Johnson says it will appeal the ruling and it disputed the decision that the device had a flawed design.

The all-metal device’s design caused the cup and ball to strike against each other as the patient moved, shedding metallic debris into the body as it did so. The debris inflamed and damaged the surrounding tissue and bone, causing pain and, in some cases, permanent injuries.
All-metal implants have become mostly obsolete because most of them suffered from similar flaws. However, data suggests that the ASR was much worse than competing products. An internal Johnson & Johnson document for example, showed that close to 40% of patients who received the ASR would need to undergo a second operation within five years to have the device removed or replaced.

Traditional artificial hips on the other hand, made of metal and plastic, are expected to last at least 15 years before needing replacement. The normal replacement rate for early unexpected failures after five years is about 5%.

Experts have speculated that Johnson & Johnson will spend billions to resolve all of these lawsuits. If juries continue to award damages in amounts similar to the one they gave Mr. Kransky, the speculations will no doubt prove accurate enough. Thousands of the individual cases have been consolidated into one large proceeding in a Federal District Court in Ohio. That should simplify matters somewhat and speed up the process. A resolution of that action could also provide a framework for settling the bulk of the cases and determining awards to patients.


Super Lawyers and Leading Lawyers Network named Chicago and Oak Brook trial attorneys Peter Lubin and Vincent DiTommaso Super Lawyers and Leading Lawyers in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation and Consumer Rights Litigation. DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle’s Oak Brook and Chicago business trial lawyers have over a quarter of century of experience in litigating complex class action, consumer rights and business and commercial litigation disputes. We handle emergency business law suits involving injunctions, and TROS, defamation, libel, Lanham Action, cybersquatting, First Amendment, covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. We also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud.

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DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle’s Naperville, and Vernon Hills trial attorneys have more than two and half decades of experience helping business clients unravel the complexities of Illinois and out-of-state business laws. Our Chicago business, commercial, class-action and consumer litigation lawyers represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners and shareholders as well as lawsuits between businesses and and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and sucessfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Elgin and St. Charles, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

If you’re facing a business or class-action lawsuit, or the possibility of one, and you’d like to discuss how the experienced Illinois business dispute attorneys at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle can help, we would like to hear from you. To set up a consultation with one of our Chicago class action attorneys and Chicago business trial lawyers, please call us toll-free at 1-877-990-4990 or contact us through the Internet.