The first claim for DePuy ASR hip replacement compensation to be heard in open court has been concluded, with the plaintiff receiving an award of $8.3 million.
The claim, made by South Dakota resident Loren Kransky (65), was heard at the Los Angeles Superior Court ahead of the ongoing Multi District Litigation (MDL) due to be heard in Ohio in May as the plaintiff is terminally ill from diabetes, heart disease and kidney cancer.
Solicitors in Court argued that Kransky had to undergo a second hip replacement operation – causing him significant pain and suffering – due to high levels of chromium and cobalt in his bloodstream caused by metal-on-metal friction within his original ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement system.
They claimed that DePuy Orthopaedics Inc had marketed the faulty hip replacement system in 2007 – the year in which the plaintiff had the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement system implanted – knowing that the ASR systems were defective; effectively accusing the company of fraud in addition to negligence, which would have entitled Kransky to qualify for significant punitive damages.
Solicitors representing DePuy Orthopaedics Inc disputed that the company knew the ASR hip replacements were faulty at the time, and contested Kransky´s claim for DePuy ASR hip replacement compensation on the grounds that Kransky´s pain and suffering was due to his pre-existing medical conditions.
The jury at the Los Angeles Superior Court found that DePuy Orthopaedics Inc had not acted “with malice” by marketing their product fraudulently in 2007, but agreed that the product was defective at the time and awarded Kransky $8 million in settlement of his DePuy ASR hip replacement claim; with a further $338,000 to account for the medical expenses he has incurred to date.
Johnson and Johnson – the parent company of DePuy Orthopaedics Inc – announced immediately after the jury´s verdict was announced that the company intends to appeal the decision; as the precedent of $8 million in compensation for pain and suffering could be greatly inflated when claims for plaintiffs who do not have a terminal illness are heard in the MDL action in Ohio next month.