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J&J Knee Implant Settlement Approved by Australian Judge

Johnson & Johnson’s settlement with Australian patients who received faulty knee implants was approved by a judge, clearing the way for compensation to be paid beginning at A$30,000 ($31,000) per user.

Pamela Casey, who had a total knee replacement in 2008, sued Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy International unit in 2010 on behalf of all patients who had received the DePuy LCS Duofix Femoral implant. The companies agreed to settle the lawsuit in August with Federal Court Justice Robert Buchanan approving the deal today.

“There have been very few complaints among the more than 430 inquiries received regarding the proposed settlement,” Buchanan wrote in his reasons for approval. None of the complaints “provide a reason not to approve the settlement,” he said.

DePuy and New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson voluntarily recalled the knee implant in 2009 after reports of defects surfaced. Prior to the recall, 5,071 of the implants were used in Australia, the judge said.

Johnson & Johnson and Warsaw, Indiana-based DePuy agreed to pay A$30,000 to people who underwent revision to the knee implant and didn’t require additional surgical procedures. The payment rises to A$65,000 for people who required two or three other surgical procedures, following the revision surgery.

People who required more surgeries or had significant complications or injuries will be assessed on an individual basis, according to the settlement, negotiated by the class action law firm Maurice Blackburn, which represented the plaintiffs.

Johnson & Johnson and DePuy also face an Australian lawsuit over hip implants, which were also recalled in 2009.

In the U.S., Johnson & Johnson agreed in August to pay about $600,000 to resolve three cases in the first settlements of litigation over hip implants. The company faces about 8,000 lawsuits over hip implants in the U.S.

The case is Pamela Joan Casey v. DePuy International Ltd. ACD10/2010. Federal Court of Australia (Sydney).

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