LOS ANGELES - (Mealey's) A California state court jury on March 8 awarded $8,338,000 in what is believed to be the first trial involving the recalled DePuy ASR XL metal-on-metal hip, according to the parties (Loren Kransky, et al. v. DePuy, Inc., et al., No. BC456086, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
The Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found that defendant DePuy Inc. defectively designed the ASR hip and was negligent in manufacturing the device. It awarded plaintiff Loren Kransky $338,000 in compensatory damages and $8 million in noneconomic damages.
The jury found that DePuy did not fail to warn Kransky. It also found that he was due no punitive damages.
In 2007, Kransky had a DePuy ASR XL hip prosthesis implanted in his left hip. In 2012, the hip was surgically removed and replaced with another device.
Kransky and his wife, Sheryl, sued device manufacturer DePuy.
In a March 8 statement, DePuy said it believes that the ASR hip was properly designed, that physicians were properly informed of the product's risks and that the company's actions concerning the product were appropriate.
DePuy spokesperson Lorie Gawreluk said,"We believe ASR XL was properly designed, and that DePuy's actions concerning the product were appropriate and responsible. We plan to appeal the jury's decision on design defect pending the outcome of post-trial motions.
"We believe we have a number of valid grounds for appeal, notably that the court didn't let the company tell the jury about the Food and Drug Administration's review and clearance of the device," Gawreluk added.
The trial began Jan. 22. The jury began deliberations on Feb. 28.
Judge J. Stephen Czuleger presided.
The ASR is a metal-on-metal hip because the hip "socket" and the femur "ball joint" components are made of metal. DePuy recalled the ASR hip in 2010 due to a high failure rate.
Plaintiffs allege that metal-on-metal hips not only fail prematurely but that particles of metal that wear off the moving surfaces and injure soft tissue or get into the bloodstream causing metal poisoning.
DePuy ASR and Pinnacle hips are the subject of two federal multidistrict litigation dockets and centralized state court litigation in New Jersey.
DePuy said that as of Dec. 30, there were approximately 10,750 plaintiffs in the United States with direct claims in pending lawsuits with respect to the ASRXL hip. The hip also was recalled in other countries.
The Kranskys are represented by Michael A. Kelly, Matthew D. Davis and Khaldoun A. Baghdadi of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger in San Francisco, John H. Gomez and Theresa K. Bowen of the Gomez Law Firm in San Diego and Dean A. Goetz of the Law Offices of Dean Goetz in Solana Beach, Calif.
DePuy and Johnson & Johnson are represented by Michael C. Zellers, Mollie F. Benedict, Sarah C. Trankiem and Joshua J. Wex of Tucker & Ellis in Los Angeles, Michelle A. Childers and Rodney M. Hudson of Drinker, Biddle & Reath in San Francisco and Alexander G. Calfo of Yukevich, Calfo & Cavanaugh in Los Angeles.
For all of your legal news needs, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/mealeys.
Lexis.com subscribers may search all Mealey Publications.
Non-subscribers may search for Mealey Publications stories and documents at www.mealeysonline.com or visit www.Mealeys.com.
Mealey's is now available in eBook format!
For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions, connect with us through our corporate site.