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A $2.5 billion DePuy ASR settlement has been finalized for thousands of patients who were forced to undergo painful surgery to replace their metal hip implants.
DePuy, the maker of the affected implants, and its parent company J&J, will fund the settlement. More than 94 percent of plaintiffs -- about 7,200 ASR patients -- have agreed to its terms, according to the San Francisco-based law firm Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, which filed the first DePuy ASR lawsuit in 2009. DePuy recalled two types of ASR implant devices in 2010.
Will this settlement announcement end DePuy's ASR worries?
Settlement Becomes More Concrete
A proposed settlement to end litigation between ASR patients and DePuy was announced in November. While many media outlets initially reported that the settlement could total as much as $4 billion, all reports now point to an estimated $2.5 billion for injured ASR patients, The New York Times reports. (After all, proposed settlements are just that -- proposals. Details can be changed and ironed out before the settlement is actually finalized by a court.)
In late November, Johnson & Johnson announced that the settlement with ASR patients was valued at "approximately $2.5 billion." This settlement amount would only be available to those who underwent surgery to replace their ASR implants prior to August 31, 2013. For the settlement to proceed, the court required that at least 94 percent of eligible claimants agree to its terms, and it appears that goal has been reached.
When Will Patients Get Paid?
Although the settlement is well on its way to paying out, the Walkup law firm states that the "first settlement payments are expected this summer." J&J and DePuy will first deposit funds into an escrow account while a third-party claims administrator wades through the thousands of eligible claimants.
However, problems may still crop up before money reaches injured patients' hands. For example, DePuy may have issues with how the claims administrator handles the terms of the settlement. That's what happened with BP in its Deepwater Horizon oil-spill settlement, and they are continuing to fight in federal court.
Hopefully this settlement funding by J&J and DePuy will be good news for anyone who endured an ASR implant replacement surgery. As for the DePuy ASR plaintiffs who have rejected the $2.5 billion settlement, their cases will proceed in court, according to the Walkup law office.