Judge approves J&J/DePuy knee lawsuit payout in Australia

In Australia, at least, Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) beleaguered DePuy unit is coming to some resolution regarding poorly made joint replacements. A judge there has approved a settlement for patients who sued over defective knee implants.

Patients will receive payments from DePuy's international unit ranging from $31,000 to $68,000, Bloomberg reports. The lower payment covers patients who needed a new knee surgery without additional procedures; the higher amount goes to patients who faced additional surgeries beyond the initial redo, according to the story. Patients with additional expenses or complications beyond that will be considered individually, the settlement notes. (The law firm Maurice Blackburn represented the plaintiffs and handled all the details in the class action lawsuit.)

DePuy's LCS Duofix Femoral implant is the joint replacement part in question here, and DePuy recalled the product voluntarily in 2009 after getting reports of problems. Australian patients were treated with more than 5,000 of the implants, according to the story.

Meanwhile, an Australian lawsuit over defective hip implants continues. The hip implant issue remains a major one with J&J/DePuy, which launched a global recall in 2010 of its ASR XL Acetabular hip socket and ASR Hip Resurfacing System (a partial hip replacement) after increased safety concerns. More than 8,000 lawsuits remain against the company regarding the faulty metal-on-metal hips, though three plaintiffs settled over the summer for a total of about $600,000.

Separately, DePuy Synthes Spine President Namal Nawana recently resigned after a short tenure with the company. The division blended DePuy with Synthes after J&J's acquisition closed earlier this year.

- read the Bloomberg story

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