Jury awards $8.3 m compensatory damages to loren kransky for asr hip implant failure
Ending days of deliberation over culpability questions, the jury found DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, negligent in designing the ASR hip replacement systems and as a result ordered it to pay the plaintiff, Loren Kransky, damages amounting to $8.333 million, media reports say. The trial commenced in January this year after preliminary negotiations were completed which saw four causes of action dismissed in the case which has become known as the California ASR hip trial.
Loren Kransky, a former Montana State prison guard, underwent a hip replacement surgery in 2007 and immediately after the procedure, started to experience adverse effects such as chronic pain and difficulty in walking. Minute metal debris composed of chromium and cobalt entered his bloodstream after the hip implant components allegedly dislocated. This resulted to metallosis which caused damage to the surrounding tissues and bones, severe pain, and infections. In 2012, Loren Kransky was forced to undergo hip revision surgery in order to ease the pain and suffering.
The original lawsuit asked for $5.3 million in compensatory damages and $179 million for punitive damages for the 10 causes of action filed by the plaintiff. Lawyers during the trial argued that not only were the designs defective, DePuy also failed to properly test the devices before making it available to the market and that complaints about hip implant failures were kept away from orthopedic surgeons.
The jury, in its verdict, found DePuy negligent in designing the hip implants but did not find the company guilty of not properly warning consumers of the risks involved with the ASR hip system. This may have saved DePuy from paying millions of dollars as punitive damages. Only compensatory damages were awarded to Kransky amounting to $338,136 for his medical expenses and $8 million for the pain and emotional suffering.
Even if an appeal is expected to be elevated by DePuy, this victory has been very welcomed by the other hip implant recipients who were allegedly injured by these devices. The number of hip implant recipients who have filed their lawsuits have exceeded 10,000, with many more expected to come forward to file their complaints.
Over 93,000 patients in the United States alone were implanted with the ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement systems since its introduction in 2005 until it was recalled in 2010. A failure rate of almost 50 percent after six years has been reported in the US and other countries. This product liability suit may certainly become one of the biggest in history considering that complainants may total over 40,000.