DePuy, a division of the large Fortune 500 conglomorate Johnson and Johnson, sold about 93,000 of the ASR hip implants. These hip implants were marketed by DePuy as a safe and revolutionary alternative to traditional hip implants in they would last longer and allow patients to do more rigorous physical activity withour fear of failure of the implant.
After high failure rates, DePuy issued a recall in 2010 because doctors complained the ASR was shedding metal debris that could harm patients. There was evidence presented at the first trial that DePuy had actual knowledge of the likelihood of high failure rates, but insisted on bringing the product to market wtihout rigorous testing.
The company is now facing nearly 11,000 lawsuits over the implants and its marketing practices. Kransky's lawsuit was the first one to reach a verdict in March, 2013. It has been shown through studies that the metal-on-metal design of the hip implant has caused the release of metal ions into patients' bloodstreams, including chromium and cobalt. These ions may cause serious adverse health consequences and warrant immediate replacement of the hip implant with a safer model.
Kransky v. DePury was the first case against DePuy to go to trial and the jury returned a verdict of $8.3 million against the DePuy defendants. The jury declined to award punitive damages.
Even after the verdict, DePuy maintains the jury got it wrong and the ASR XL was properly designed.
What is interesting about this verdict is that the jury awarded a significant sum for the physical pain and suffering experienced by Mr. Kransky - nearly 8 million dollars. Under current Tennessee law, these damages would be capped at $750,000. Mr. Kransky should be thankful he did not have Tennessee law apply.