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Image created by RRY Publications, LLC
Image created by RRY Publications, LLC

DePuy Settles California Bellwether ASR Suit

Walter Eisner • Thu, October 10th, 2013

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DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. has confirmed to OTW that a notice of settlement has been filed in the Robert Ottman ASR metal-on-metal case that was scheduled to go to trial October 15, 2013, in the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco.

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

A company spokesperson told us in an email that “ASR Hip System lawsuits are examined individually in light of the individual nature of the claims. In individual cases, the company may consider the appropriateness of settlement.”

Ottman alleged that his metal-on-metal ASR hip implant caused him to suffer from several alleged side effects, including the need for revision surgery because of device failure. Ottman’s case was to be the first trial in the California consolidation of ASR cases, set to begin in a couple weeks, according to court documents (DePuy ASR Hip System Cases; CJC-10-004649, San Francisco Superior Court, Calif.). Settlement details were not available.

“A settlement is encouraging,” said Rochelle Rottenstein, principal of the Rottenstein Law Group. “If DePuy and J&J are interested in settling these cases, and they are offering reasonable settlement amounts, then victims might see money to compensate them for injuries much sooner than if each person has to take his or her case to trial.”

According to documents filed October 1, 2013, the parties have two months to file a request to dismiss the case.

In addition to the California bellwether hearing, other ASR trials are scheduled take place in state courts in New Jersey, Florida, Chicago and Los Angeles in the coming year. Each of the 11,500 plaintiffs who filed a DePuy hip lawsuit would have the right to refuse a settlement and opt for a trial if they believe a jury verdict may be higher than the proposed accord amount.

In March, a California state court jury awarded $8.3 million to ASR implant recipient Loren Kransky. The Kransky case was the first trial regarding the DePuy ASR. In April, an Illinois jury ruled in favor of DePuy in the second trial. Meanwhile, rumors persist that the company is contemplating a $3 billion global settlement of pending cases. The rumored settlement would resolve up to 11,500 ASR lawsuits, suggesting the average settlement would be about $300,000 per case.

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