When a doctor makes an error when working with a single patient, the consequences can be severe for the individual. However, when a medical device manufacturer creates dangerous products and does not act appropriately to protect patients, then tens of thousands may be serious harmed. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys know that this is one of the main reason why standards for medical equipment, devices, and tools has to be high. When problems are spotted they must be corrected. Those hurt must receive redress. And those negligent must be forced to make changes such that similar errors do not happen in the future. The stakes are too high for anything else.
One of the more high-profile recent examples of this involves the DePuy hip implant recall. Since the official recall by Johnson & Johnson of two versions of its hip implant systems, more than 8,000 lawsuits have been filed by those affected. The alleged harm is wide ranging, from devices that came loose from the bone to the release of metallic particles into patient bloodstreams. In fact, considering the rate at which the devices have failed and the total amount of devices implanted, it is likely that some affected have yet to come forward and seek recovery for the situation.
These types of cases sometimes take awhile to sort out–especially at the beginning–as much investigation is involved in uncovering exactly what went wrong and what could or should have been done. Each Chicago medical malpractice attorney has been involved in case with dangerous or defective products where complex discovery processes were required to get to the bottom of the program.
Fortunately, some issues may be moving forward in this DePuy hip recall lawsuits. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that we may soon see settlements in the first three cases. According to the story, the suits were filed early by three women who had the devices implants by the same surgeon. All three eventually needed to have the hips removed after the medical devices failed and caused various painful side effects. One woman had problems from metallic particles in her hip while another suffered severe bone damage.
Some familiar with these cases suggests that Johnson & Johnson has agreed to settle the cases before trial for $200,000 each–for a total of $600,000. It is unclear how accurate that analysis is, as previous estimates suggested that the company would likely need to pay up to $500,000 per case of injured patient.
Johnson & Johnson noted earlier this year that it had spent about $800 million on the situation since the recall was announced in late August of 2010. Some familiar with the situation have suggested that the recall will eventually cost the company $2 billion when everything is taken into account, though these projections are undoubtedly very rough.
Of course, it is important to remember that the results in one case do not guarantee results in another case. As always it is crucial to visit with a legal professional in your area, get tailored advice, and decide what to do based on the specifics of your situation.
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