The first recalled ASR hip replacement claim to be heard in court in the USA has resulted in the jury awarding a former prison officer an $8.3 million DePuy hip compensation settlement.
Loren Kransky (65) from South Dakota made the recalled ASR hip replacement claim for compensation after his doctor attributed certain health problems he was suffering to metal ions which had entered Kransky´s bloodstream from a faulty ASR hip replacement implant fitted in 2007.
His claim for a DePuy hip compensation settlement was brought forward to be heard in the Los Angeles Superior Court, as Kransky is also suffering from diabetes, heart disease and kidney cancer, and under Californian law preferential treatment is given to claimants who are terminally ill.
Lawyers representing Kransky argued in court that elevated levels of cobalt and chromium released by friction within the faulty hip replacement had caused damage to bones and soft tissues and had resulted in their client requiring a further hip replacement.
DePuy argued that there was no medical consensus on what levels of metal being released into the system caused harm to patients and contested the claim on the grounds that Kransky´s pain and suffering was due to his pre-existing medical conditions.
Loren Kransky´s claim for a DePuy hip compensation settlement had asked for significant punitive damages – alleging that DePuy had failed to adequately warn of the risks associated with the ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement system.
However, the jury at the Los Angeles Superior Court found that the company did not act with malice – prohibiting Kransky from being awarded punitive damages – but agreed with his lawyers that the hip replacement system was faulty and that the “black pieces of metal [that] flaked off the implant and caused a type of poisoning that could have killed him”.
The jury awarded Loren Kransky $8 million for his pain and suffering plus a further $338,000 to cover his medical costs. DePuy intend to appeal the decision, as the precedent of $8 million in compensation for pain and suffering could be greatly inflated for plaintiffs who do not have a terminal illness.
A further claim for a DePuy hip compensation settlement is to be heard this week in Illinois State Court, while the first two multi district litigation (MDL) cases are scheduled for May and July in Ohio.