J&J to pay $1B to settle most Pinnacle hip implant suits

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay about $1 billion to resolve the bulk of the lawsuits alleging it sold defective metal-on-metal hip implants, according to Bloomberg.

Under the agreement, J&J has resolved more than 95 percent of the 6,000 cases related to its Pinnacle hip implants. In all of the cases settled, the implants had to be surgically removed.

In the lawsuits, patients claimed defective implants left them unable to walk and in pain. The implants allegedly caused a buildup of metal ions in the blood that caused groin pain, allergic reactions and bone erosion.

In 2013 J&J stopped selling the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implants after the FDA strengthened artificial hip regulations. The Pinnacle devices are still sold with other material combinations, just not metal-on-metal.

The $1 billion settlement total includes an earlier $400 million settlement paid by J&J. The company still faces about 4,500 lawsuits from patients with artificial hips that aren't made of metal or haven't been surgically removed.

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