Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the recalled defective metal on metal Depuy ASR hip implants, has reportedly offered more than $2 billion to settle more than 10,000 claims filed against it by individuals who have the implants. This averages approximately $200,000 per claimant. The amount of that offer is expected to rise in the future as negotiations continue with lawyers representing hip implant claimants in California and around the country.
The $200,000 amount, while it may adequately compensate some claimants, would be woefully inadequate to compensate a huge number of claimants. Regardless of the total amount of the ultimate settlement reached, the way any settlement scheme would work is that a claims system would be set up with tiered settlement amounts depending upon the extent of a claimant’s injuries and whether the claimant had, or will have, surgery to replace the implant. Similar schemes have resulted from pharmaceutical defect mass tort acions in the past.
Johnson & Johnson’s offer comes on the eve of the first California case scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles this week, a trial which will be closely watched.