In the coming days, Johnson & Johnson is expected to announce that it has reached a settlement over defective hip implants totaling in the range of $4 billion, one of the largest settlements ever for the company.
Under the settlement, patients affected are expected to receive about $350,000 each, though the exact value is still unclear since lawyers are trying to figure out how many patients are eligible. Sources speaking to the Times estimated that the number could be anywhere between 7,000 and 8,000 patients.
The Articular Surface Replacement, A.S.R. for short, was recalled in August of 2010 after it came to light that the device "sheds metallic debris as it wears, generating particles that have damaged tissue in some patients or caused crippling injuries." The device had a failure rate about eight times higher than other hip devices and 40 percent of them were said to fail within the first five years. A trial earlier this year revealed evidence that the company may have been aware of the flaw back in 2008.
In addition to the settlement, according to Bloomberg, J&J has already spent nearly a billion dollars informing patients and doctors about the recall and on medical costs. It also reached a $2.2 billion settlement last week in a separate case concerning its marketing of certain medications.