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Settlement Offered in DePuy Defective Hip Implant Litigation

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Johnson & Johnson's orthopedic implant division, DePuy, offered to pay $2.5 billion to over 93,000 patients in a class action lawsuit based on defective hip implants.  These patients received the DePuy all-metal implant that caused metal shavings to enter a patient's bloodstream and cause sometimes life-threatening complications.  Hip implants are normally made from both metal and plastic and do not have this same issue.  An internal document from DePuy indicates they knew about this issue as early as 2011 but continued to deny that the implant was defective after numerous patients repeatedly complained.  The document stated that the specific metal device would "fail within five years in 40% of the patients who received one."  The company did, however, issue a voluntary recall in 2010, but seemed to downplay that it was related to any wrongdoing on their part.  Several years of complaints have led to the current lawsuit in which DePuy offered to settle.  This offer, however, may not be accepted as required by 94% of the claimaints in order for it to go through.  Many affected patients may choose to pursue individual lawsuits hoping to receive a larger payout, especially if they experienced one of the more serious device failures.  The legal issues for DePuy will likely drag on for several more years as more patients discover defects in the metal implants they currently have in place.

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