J&J to Pay at Least $2.5 Billion to Settle Hip Lawsuits
The Wall Street Journal
In its latest multibillion-dollar legal settlement, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay at least $2.5 billion to resolve thousands of lawsuits filed by patients who alleged they were injured by some of the company’s artificial hips, according to people familiar with the matter.
J&J would pay $250,000 for each surgery to replace the hips in about 8,000 patients in the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter. In addition, the company would set up a $475 million fund to cover the costs of extraordinary medical injuries, such as strokes, heart attacks or multiple surgeries to replace artificial hips, the people said.
The sides are still negotiating the timing of J&J’s payments and other final terms, according to the people familiar with the matter. But the sides reached a tentative understanding about the broad outlines of a deal a few weeks ago, one of the people said. And an announcement could come soon, possibly as early as Tuesday.
A federal judge in Toledo, Ohio, who must approve the settlement, is scheduled to consider it later Tuesday.
J&J has already spent an undisclosed sum to pay for surgeries replacing its ASR metal-on-metal hip implants in some patients. The company could also face additional costs.
One person familiar with the settlement talks said J&J would also pay off liens costing around $60,000 to $75,000 for each patient; the liens were taken by government health plans like Medicare and private insurers while covering the medical costs of the patients. But a second person familiar with the talks said that wouldn’t be part of any announcement.
A deal would allow J&J, of New Brunswick, N.J., to move past another set of long-running legal issues. On Nov. 4, the company agreed to pay a total of $2.2 billion and plead guilty to a misdemeanor in a deal with federal prosecutors to settle investigations into the company’s marketing of the antipsychotic Risperdal and other drugs.
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“J&J to Pay at Least $2.5 Billion to Settle Hip Lawsuits” The Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2013 (subscription required)