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 replacement compensation settlement.
Loren Kransky, aged 65, from South Dakota made the recalled hip replacement claim for compensation after his doctor attributed certain health issues he was suffering to metal ions which had entered Kransky´s blood from a faulty ASR hip replacement implant implanted in 2007.
His compensation claim for a DePuy hip settlement was moved forward to be heard in the Los Angeles Superior Court, as Kransky also suffers from diabetes, heart disease and kidney cancer, and according to Californian law preferential treatment is given to claimants who are dying.
Legal representatives for Kransky argued that elevated levels of cobalt and chromium released by friction within the faulty hip replacement had resulted in damage to bones and soft tissues and had resulted in their client needing a further hip replacement.
DePuy (Johnson & Johnson) argued that there was no medical agreement on what levels of metal being released into the system caused damage to patients and contested the claim on the grounds that Kransky´s pain was due to his pre-existing illnesses.
Mr Kransky’s claim for a DePuy Hip replacement compensation settlement had asked for major punitive damages – claiming that DePuy had failed to adequately warn of the risks associated with the ASR XL Acetabular hip replacement device.
Despite this, the jury at the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that the company did not act with malice – stopping Kransky from being awarded punitive damages – but agreed with his solicitors that the hip replacement system was faulty and that the “black pieces of metal [that] flaked off the implant and lead to a type of poisoning that could have killed him”.
At court the jury awarded Loren Kransky $8 million for his pain and suffering due to a faultyDePuy Hip replacement plus a further $338,000 to cover his medical costs. DePuy will appeal the award, as the precedent of $8 million in compensation for pain and suffering could be greatly increased for claimants who do not have a terminal illness.