ASR Trial Verdict: What Does it Mean for Your ASR Hip Case?

Posted by Kim Truongle

March 9, 2013 – As reported in this blog yesterday, a jury in California returned a verdict for the Plaintiff for nearly $8.34 million.  $8 million of that figure was awarded for non-economic damages, including physical pain and emotional suffering and distress.  The jury agreed the ASR hip was defectively designed and the warnings regarding the risks of the implant were inadequate.  The verdict was awarded after successful arguments by the Plaintiff’s attorneys to overcome defense attempts at blaming the method of implantation and the Plaintiff’s other health conditions.  This is a large victory for the California Plaintiff, as well as for all other Plaintiffs who have an ASR case pending against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson.

What does this first trial verdict in an ASR case mean for your hip case?

Does this mean my case will gross millions of dollars? 

No.  The amount of this verdict has NO immediate bearing on the value of individual cases.  It is important to remember that trials involve very specific facts; some of them may be applicable to you, and some may not.  Additionally, case expenses are usually borne by the client, meaning that the costs of bringing this Plaintiff’s case to trial will most likely come out of the funds he ultimately receives – trying a case against DePuy, Johnson & Johnson, or any pharmaceutical company is not cheap.

The real impact this verdict has on the individual cases is that it is a weight that can push the Defendants to come to the negotiating table.  This does not mean they will settle the cases immediately, but it is a force that may push them towards negotiations sooner than later.

When will my ASR hip trial occur? 

The likelihood of your individual ASR hip case going to trial is low.  There are many cases ahead of you in the court system, and the Judges overseeing the state and federal consolidations selected trials from the earliest cases in their courts, long before we came to know of you.  However, this does not necessarily mean you will have to wait longer than most others for resolution of your claim.  For cases like these with many claimants around the country, our experience is that if we reach a settlement, the defendants will likely negotiate a settlement of all our firm’s cases at once.  This does not mean everyone we represent, nor everyone around the country, will necessarily gross the same amount.  This is not a class action.  We will post more information explaining the possible settlement process when the time for negotiations nears and is more appropriate.  We are not at that stage of these cases yet.

With yesterday’s verdict in California, the Plaintiffs are on the right track in this litigation.  For additional questions on your ASR hip case, please call us at (800) 269-3050.

Hip Implants a Bit More Likely to Fail in Women

From ABC13 KTRK News

February 19, 2013 – Hip replacements are slightly more likely to fail in women than in men, according to one of the largest studies of its kind in U.S. patients. The risk of the implants failing is low, but women were 29 percent more likely than men to need a repeat surgery within the first three years.

The message for women considering hip replacement surgery remains unclear. It’s not known which models of hip implants perform best in women, even though women make up the majority of the more than 400,000 Americans who have full or partial hip replacements each year to ease the pain and loss of mobility caused by arthritis or injuries.

“This is the first step in what has to be a much longer-term research strategy to figure out why women have worse experiences,” said Diana Zuckerman, president of the nonprofit National Research Center for Women & Families. “Research in this area could save billions of dollars” and prevent patients from experiencing the pain and inconvenience of surgeries to fix hip implants that go wrong.

Researchers looked at more than 35,000 surgeries at 46 hospitals in the Kaiser Permanente health system. The research, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, was funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

After an average of three years, 2.3 percent of the women and 1.9 percent of the men had undergone revision surgery to fix a problem with the original hip replacement. Problems included instability, infection, broken bones and loosening.

“There is an increased risk of failure in women compared to men,” said lead author Maria Inacio, an epidemiologist at Southern California Permanente Medical Group in San Diego. “This is still a very small number of failures.”

Women tend to have smaller joints and bones than men, and so they tend to need smaller artificial hips. Devices with smaller femoral heads — the ball-shaped part of the ball-and-socket joint in an artificial hip — are more likely to dislocate and require a surgical repair.

That explained some, but not all, of the difference between women and men in the study. It’s not clear what else may have contributed to the gap. Co-author Dr. Monti Khatod, an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles, speculated that one factor may be a greater loss of bone density in women.

The failure of metal-on-metal hips was almost twice as high for women than in men. The once-popular models were promoted by manufacturers as being more durable than standard plastic or ceramic joints, but several high-profile recalls have led to a decrease in their use in recent years.

“Don’t be fooled by hype about a new hip product,” said Zuckerman, who wrote an accompanying commentary in the medical journal. “I would not choose the latest, greatest hip implant if I were a woman patient. … At least if it’s been for sale for a few years, there’s more evidence for how well it’s working.”

ASR Update

By Kim Truongle –

January 18, 2013 – Today, it was reported in the media that settlement discussions are occurring with regard to ASR cases.  This information is speculative and unconfirmed.  Instead, Plaintiffs’ counsel nationwide are focusing on trial preparation, with the first case set to begin in Los Angeles on Tuesday.  Next month, another trial is set to start in Illinois.  Plaintiffs’ counsel for these two state trial cases are cooperating and working in conjunction with counsel in the Ohio MDL, whose first two cases are set for start in May and July.  Again, any “news” about settlements or settlement discussions is, at this point, purely speculative.  We believe there is still a lot of work and progress to be made before fruitful settlement discussions can occur.

The Nations Law Firm