Sydney bus driver Joseph Pereira was a lead plaintiff in the case against Johnson & Johnson over faulty hip joints. Steven Siewert
by Marianna Papadakis
- Mar 31 2016 at 4:40 PM Updated Mar 31 2016 at 4:40 PM
Pharmaceutical and medical devices giant Johnson & Johnson will pay $250 million for faulty hip replacements in the second-biggest class action settlement in Australia over the past decade.
The conditional agreement between Johnson & Johnson and its British subsidiary DePuy International and lawyers for 1700 Australians was lodged at a short hearing at Sydney's Federal Court on Thursday and must be approved by a judge.
The companies were sued by Shine Lawyers and Maurice Blackburn five years ago. There was a 17-week trial last year. The biggest class action settlement was $800 million for the Victorian bushfires cases.
Lead plaintiff Sydney bus driver Joseph Pereira claimed the implants left him in constant pain and with elevated levels of heavy metals in his bloodstream.
The DePuy ASR resurfacing hip implant has led to a compensation package of $250 million from Johnson & Johnson. "
The DePuy ASR resurfacing hip implant has led to a compensation package of $250 million from Johnson & Johnson. Supplied
Johnson & Johnson withdrew the DePuy ASR hip implants from sale in Australia in December 2009 and issued a formal hazard alert for the products in August 2010.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers senior associate Julian Schimmel said the settlement, following the court's approval, meant patients could be compensated if they had or still needed corrective surgery because of problems with hip implants.
The law firms alleged the ASR hip implants, which provided a total hip replacement, were defective, not fit for their purpose and not of merchantable quality.
Mr Schimmel said the case was settled on a "no admissions" basis.
Shine Lawyers partner Rebecca Jancauskas said a compensation scheme to distribute the money would be devised to ensure compensation paid to each group member reflected their individual circumstances and losses.
"We estimate there are still hundreds of Australians who are yet to have hip revision surgery and the settlement scheme will remain open for these people to access the compensation they are entitled to," Ms Jancauskas said.
A Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman said the company still used the ASR devices and they performed well in some patients.
"The respondents' priority is, and always has been, patient safety," the spokeswoman said. "Since the recall decision was made, the respondents have worked to provide patients and surgeons directly with the information and support they need.
"They have continued to focus on the care and wellbeing of all ASR patients, their family members and surgeons."
Johnson & Johnson is appealing a separate case in the United States concerning different Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants after the company was ordered by a Texas federal jury to pay about $US500 million ($650 million) to five plaintiffs who claimed they were injured by the devices.
Read more: http://www.afr.com/business/legal/johnson--johnson-to-pay-250-million-in-class-action-settlement-20160331-gnv15d#ixzz44Ww36I2x