On March 8, 2013, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded a retired corrections office $8.3 million in damages stemming from a defective hip replacement device.
The verdict was in the bellwether case Loren “Bill” Kransky v. DePuy, LASC Case Number BC456086. Johnson & Johnson's DePuy unit defectively designed a metal-on-metal hip implant and was negligent, a California jury decided in the first of 10,750 lawsuits over the device to go to trial. The Los Angeles jury awarded $8.3 million in compensatory damages to Loren “Bill” Kransky, a retired prison guard from Montana, after finding that the design of the ASR XL hip caused his injuries. Jurors also found DePuy properly warned of the risks and didn’t owe punitive damages to punish the company.
J&J, the world’s largest seller of health-care products, recalled 93,000 of the implants in August 2010, when it said 12 percent failed within five years. Last year, 44 percent failed in Australia within seven years. Analysts say the lawsuits could cost J&J billions of dollars to resolve. Patients such as Kransky, 65, complain in lawsuits of dislocations, pain and follow-up surgeries known as revisions. Kransky’s lawyers argued that DePuy failed to test the device adequately before selling it in the U.S. in 2005, buried surgeon complaints of mounting failures, and studied a redesign of the ASR before scrapping that effort in 2008.
The next bellwether trial begins in Illinois State Court on March 11, 2013. The Kransky verdict is likely the first of many large verdicts to be handed down against DePuy.
If you’ve had problems with your hip replacement, contact the Gansen Law Group today for a free evaluation.
Chris Gansen is an attorney practicing personal injury and trial law in Los Angeles, CA. He specializes in catastrophic injury cases and products liability. You can find him on Twitter @thegansen or on his law firm's web site, www.gansenlawgroup.com and LaAutoLaw.com.