$8.3M Awarded In First DePuy Hip Lawsuit: Does This Set The Bar For Others?

The first of nearly 11,000 trials pending against DePuy’s recalled ASR XL hip implant has resulted in an $8.3 million verdict for the plaintiff, 65-year-old Loren Kransky of Montana. Was this verdict an anomaly? Or could it set the bar for other victims waiting their turn in court?

Breakdown Of The $8.3M Verdict

The first DePuy ASR XL hip implant trial resulted in an $8.3 million jury verdict against the manufacturer – $338,136 in compensatory damages and another $8 million for pain and suffering. According to Bloomberg, Kransky’s testimony that he was in constant pain, couldn’t walk and seriously believed that chromium and cobalt metal debris from the company’s metal-on-metal hip implant were poisoning him quickly convinced the jury of DePuy’s culpability. He told jurors that he simply had no choice but to have DePuy’s hip implant removed:

I didn’t want to have the hip [replaced again] because I had 25 surgical procedures done prior to that…I thought that surgery was going to kill me. I thought I was going to die… I came to believe that I was going to have to do it because I was told that [metal debris] was poisoning me. I’m going to die either way. One way would be slow and one would be fast. I took the lesser of two evils.

Kransky’s sentiments echo those of so many others who now find themselves in similar situations. Although DePuy’s metal-on-metal ASR XL system was supposed to be the “latest and greatest” in hip implant systems, it turned out to be anything but that. Failure rates as high as 44% have been reported, and metallosis side effects from the medical device’s metal components rubbing together are now being studied further.

Is This First Verdict A Sign Of Things To Come?

DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, adamantly maintains that there was nothing wrong with the medical devices they recalled in 2010. However, the 11,000 DePuy injury victims waiting their day in court likely feel very differently. Although jurors in the case did not award punitive damages, DePuy hip implant injury attorneys say that they have not given up that fight. In closing arguments, Kransky’s attorney said:

This is not an imperfect hip, this is a public health disaster…This is the first day of reckoning for DePuy. We’ve learned a lot from this trial. We’ll get punitive damages in the next trial.

In fact, one juror wholeheartedly agreed with the attorney’s statement and later told reporters he thought that punitive damages should have been awarded due to evidence that DePuy waited so long to issue a recall once it discovered just how bad the problem was.

If you’ve been injured by the DePuy ASR XL metal-on-metal hip replacement, contact The Driscoll Firm, LLC, to discuss your situation and determine whether you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

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