Readers of this blog know that I’ve written previously about the dangers associated with defective hip implants. Most of these dangers arise from very small metal fragments in these hip implants, some microscopic, which are absorbed into a patients’ bloodstreams. These metal fragments can migrate into surrounding tissues and eventually into the bloodstream, due to the fact that several of these hip implants involved metal-on-metal joint components. The physical illnesses and injuries that can result from this exposure, can be extremely severe.
Most of the defective hip implants producing these problems were made by either Stryker Orthopedics, or DePuy Orthopedics, which is a division of Johnson & Johnson. Stryker’s “Rejuvenate Modular Hip System” and the “Stryker ABG II Modular Neck” were both voluntarily recalled by in July 2012 due to the health risks to implant patients. Many lawsuits followed – so many that these suits, along with suits against medical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, were consolidated into federal court, to more efficiently handle the volume of these particular cases. Just a few days ago, Johnson & Johnson announced that the company had reached a settlement deal with plaintiffs’ lawyers who were representing a wide class on injured patients. J&J will pay for a $2.5 billion settlement fund, which will be used to pay damages to injured patients in an estimated 8,000 lawsuits in the consolidated litigation. Those cases involved injuries that range from modest, to much more serious. The settlement agreement will also include an additional $475 million to pay for the most severely injured plaintiffs.
As a Boston hip implant attorney, I know that it’s this kind of financial punishment that makes our civil justice system work. Without the ability to bring these kinds of lawsuits – without the ability of the average American to hold corporate giants accountable for their errors –no one who buys any kind of product in this country would be safe. The reason is obvious” With little fear of being punished financially or legally, corporations would automatically place profits before people, money before safety – and our country would be a lot worse for it.
Be sure to tell that to the next person who tells you that ‘tort reform’ is needed in this country.