November has been a month to forget for global pharmaceutical medical device giant Johnson & Johnson. The giant has agreed to settle the ongoing lawsuits centered on their recalled hip implants.
Thousands globally have filed suit in response to the deleterious effects from these all metal hip implants.
The typical artificial hip lifetime is approximately 15 years. These artificial hips were being consistently documented of failing at a far premature pace of 5 years. These replacement hips were not only wearing at an accelerated pace but the metal on metal abrasion was causing metal particles to scatter across surrounding tissue resulting in tissue necrosis and elevation of metal ions. Increased metallic ions have been linked to increased cancer proclivity. Approximately 93 thousand replacement hips were implanted worldwide and 12 percent of the units failed within 5 years.
Where Johnson & Johnson ran afoul was not strictly the deficiency of their product but the resulting actions following reports of the elevated failure rate. The flaw in the design in the replacement hips were documented and Johnson & Johnson continued selling the faulty product.
Prior to this settlement there were approximately 7-8 thousand pending product liability cases. With the estimated 4 billion dollar settlement, Johnson & Johnson is saddled with the largest medical product settlement ever in the United States. This settlement follows shortly the settlement they reached for their anti-psychotic drug earlier this month