DePuy reaches settlement in California trial for consolidated litigation in metal-on-metal hip replacement lawsuits

by Jim Orr

DePuy Orthopedics, Inc. has entered into a settlement with plaintiff Robert Ottman of his ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement lawsuit that was scheduled to go to trial October 15, 2013, in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

The recently-settled lawsuit was one of about 2,000 DePuy ASR recall claims pending in coordinated litigation underway in California Superior Court. (DePuy ASR HIP System Cases, No. CJC-10-004649; Calif. Super. Ct., San Francisco Cty.). It would have been the first of the California cases to go to trial.

In all, Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopedics unit are named in more than 11,000 DePuy ASR lawsuits that have been filed around the country in the aftermath of the August 2010 DePuy ASR hip replacement recall. Consumers using DePuy’s ASR hip implants have alleged that the metal-on-metal hip is defective because it releases metal into the body, causing metal poisoning.

Most of the cases are pending in a federal multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, MDL 2197, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation. The lawsuits have been consolidated because they share factual issues as to whether DePuy’s ASR XL Acetabular Hip System, a device used in hip replacement surgery, was defectively designed and/or manufactured, and whether DePuy failed to provide adequate warnings concerning the device. The first bellwether trial in Ohio had been scheduled to begin this month, but has been postponed for up to 90 days.

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