A Californian jury has awarded a man compensation for a faulty DePuy hip replacement system amounting to $8.3 million after a hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Loren Kransky (65) from South Dakota made his claim for faulty DePuy hip replacement compensation after metal ions were found in his blood, caused by friction between the metal ball and socket of his ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement system.
Kransky, who also suffers from diabetes, heart disease and kidney cancer, had to undergo a replacement hip operation within three years of having his DePuy ASR hip replacement system originally implanted, and claimed in his action against DePuy that he had suffered bone and soft tissue damage due to the company´s “fraud and negligence”.
His claim for faulty DePuy hip replacement compensation was brought forward due to his terminal condition and solicitors acting on his behalf were able to demonstrate to the jury that “black pieces of metal [cobalt and chromium] flaked off the implant and caused a type of poisoning that could have killed him”.
Solicitors representing Johnson and Johnson – the parent company of DePuy – argued that there was no medical consensus of opinion concerning what levels of metal being released into the system caused harm to patients and contested the claim for faulty DePuy hip replacement compensation on the basis that Kransky´s pain and suffering was due to his pre-existing medical conditions.
Although the jury at Los Angeles Superior Court found that Johnson and Johnson had not acted with malice by marketing a product they knew to be defective – and thereby disqualifying Kransky from the punitive damages he had sought – they agreed that ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement system was defective and had caused an injury to Kransky, and awarded him compensation for a faulty DePuy hip replacement system of $8 million for his suffering and pain with a further award of $338,000 to cover his medical costs
Johnson and Johnson immediately announced their intention to appeal the award, as future cases will involve claimants who will have to live with the consequences of their faulty hip replacement system for longer. Consequently, more representative cases due to be heard in Ohio in May and July as part of the multi district litigation (MDL) action could result in significantly larger settlements of compensation for a faulty DePuy hip replacement.