State to get $2.9M from hip implant judgment with J&J, DePuy

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

The state of Michigan will receive $2.9 million for residents duped by allegedly misleading advertising about metal-on-metal hip implant replacements after 46 attorneys general reached a $120 million consent judgment with the device’s manufacturers.

Michigan will receive $2,925,149 of the $120 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson and its orthopedics unit Medical Device Business Inc., formerly known as DePuy Inc., according to Attorney General Dana Nessel's office.

The attorneys general who filed the case alleged DePuy exaggerated the longevity of its metal-on-metal hip implants, the ASR XL and Pinnacle Ultramet, by saying the three-year survivorship, or success rate, was higher than it actually was, according to a statement from Nessel.

Some patients experienced allergic reactions, a build-up of metal ions in the blood, groin pain and tissue necrosis, the statement said. 

“It is essential that companies which provide medical devices live up to their obligation to provide accurate and up-to-date information for both doctors and patient/consumers,” Nessel said. “This settlement will help ensure doctors are provided with better information for use when caring for their patients.”

The Pinnacle Ultamet was discontinued in 2013, three years after a large recall of the ASR XL. The ASR model was recalled for higher-than-expected rates of patients needing a second hip replacement procedure. Within five years, one in eight patients needed a revision surgery, the company said in 2010. 

The settlement involved no admission of liability or misconduct on the parts of DePuy and Johnson & Johnson, according to a statement from the companies. 

"DePuy Synthes remains committed to meeting the current and future needs of orthopedic surgeons and patients," the statement said. 

The settlement also requires DePuy to make several quality assurance changes, such as basing claims on recent data and science and documenting complaints more thoroughly.

(517) 371-3661