After recalling their ASR XL hip-replacement devices in 2010, Johnson & Johnson has been the named defendant in 10,000 product-liability lawsuits against its subsidiary, DePuy.  The first case ended on March 8 in the California Superior Court with a jury verdict ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay the victim $8.3 million in damages.  The plaintiff suffered injuries from one of DePuy’s all-metal implants, which the jury also concluded were designed defectively.  DePuy disagrees with the jury’s decision and will appeal based in part on the fact that the Food and Drug Administration approved the device before it was introduced into the market.  The company continues to affirm that the device was properly designed.  The jury did, however, reject the plaintiff’s claim that DePuy failed to adequately warn of the potential risks involved with receiving an ASR implant.  This leaves the door open for DePuy to argue that the associated risks were sufficiently disclosed, leaving the assumption of risk with the patient.  Johnson & Johnson has incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in association with the legal costs resulting from the lawsuits filed since the device recall in 2010.  Based on this single jury outcome alone, those costs will presumably continue to increase substantially.

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