A former prison officer has been awarded $8.3 million in the first DePuy hip replacement compensation claim to be heard in court in the US.
The DePuy compensation claim made by Loren Kransky (65) from South Dakota was moved forward ahead of the Multi District Litigation (MDL) due to be heard in Ohio next May, as the claimant is terminally ill and dying from diabetes, heart disease and kidney cancer.
According to solicitors at the Los Angeles Superior Court, Kransky had to undergo a second hip replacement operation – causing him pain and suffering – as a result of high levels of chromium and cobalt in his bloodstream caused by metal-on-metal friction within his DePuy ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement system.
It was also claimed that Johnson and Johnson – the parent company of DePuy Orthopaedics – marketed the faulty hip replacement products knowing that the ASR systems were defective, pracitcally accusing them of fraud in addition to negligence which would have entitled Kransky to claim significant punitive damages.
Johnson and Johnson disputed that they were aware ASR hip replacement devices were faulty in 2007 – the year in which Kransky underwent his original DePuy hip replacement operation – and contested Kransky’s claim for on the grounds that Kransky’s pain and suffering was due to his previously-existing medical conditions.
The jury at the Los Angeles Superior Court concluded that Johnson and Johnson had not operated “with malice” by marketing their hip replacement system in 2007, but agreed that the product was defective and awarded Kransky $8 million in settlement of his DePuy hip replacement compensation claim, with a further $338,000 to account for the medical expenses he has incurred to date.
Due to the potential for the precedent of $8 million in compensation for pain and suffering being greatly inflated when claims for claimants who do not have a terminal illness are heard in the MDL action in Ohi, ohnson and Johnson announced immediately after that the company intends to appeal the decision.