(Photo : Johnson & Johnson)
Johnson & Johnson has reached a financial agreement over a series of lawsuits filed against the company.
According to the New York Times, Johnson & Johnson's settlement could resolve "thousands of lawsuits" regarding patients injured by a faulty all-metal hip replacement.
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Lawyers familiar with the settlement stated Johnson & Johnson could pay up to $4 billion to the patients, however, court approval is required before finalizing.
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The lawyers noted the settlement will include patients who had the device known as the Articular Surface Replacement, or A.S.R., removed in favor of another artificial hip.
The settlement would give each patient approximately $350,000 as compensation, however, the figure might change depending on the patient's age and medical condition. The exact value of the settlement might change as lawyers are still determining how many of the reported 12,000 related lawsuits involve patients who had the hip replacement.
Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopaedics unit, which sold the A.S.R. hip, declined to comment. A statement about the plan is likely to come in the next few days.
DePuy Orthopaedics recalled the A.S.R. hip in mid-2010 following reports of failure rates increasing.
"The device, which had a metal ball and a metal cup, sheds metallic debris as it wears, generating particles that have damaged tissue in some patients or caused crippling injuries," reported Barry Meier of the NY Times.
DePuy Orthopaedics has previously stated the company followed appropriate measures during the recall, but internal documents revealed during the trial found the company was aware of the hip's imperfect design as well as its high rate of failing prematurely.
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