The People's Perspective on Medicine

Billion Dollar Settlement for People with Bad Hip Implants

Johnson & Johnson will pay a billion dollars to people who received the company's bad hip implants and had poor outcomes. Legal action on Roundup too.
X-ray scan image of hip joints with orthopedic hip joint replacement implant head and screws in human skeleton in blue gray tones. Scanned in orthopedics traumatology surgery hospital clinic.

Another week, another BIG settlement! Actually, there was one big settlement in the medical device industry regarding bad hip implants and an even bigger award in a jury trial involving the weed killer Roundup. The Johnson & Johnson company is reported to have reached a $1 billion settlement with plaintiffs who had received the company’s metal-on-metal hip implants. In a different case, a jury in California awarded one couple over $2 billion dollars. In their suit they had claimed that their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancers were due to exposure to the herbicide Roundup. 

The Bad Hip Implants:

The name of the implants in question is Pinnacle. They were supplied by DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company. These metal-on-metal (MoM) implants were launched back in 2002. 

At that time, it was believed that the MoM devices would last longer than other implants that relied on plastic or ceramic. Hey, metal is strong, right? Some manufacturers called metal-on-metal hip implants a medical breakthrough. Instead of stainless steel they used “stronger” metals such as titanium, cobalt or chromium. 

It is not clear how well or for how long these products were tested. There was a big ooops coming. As the MoM parts rubbed together, metal fragments began to break loose and affect surrounding tissue. Worse, metal ions got into the bloodstream. Patients began reporting rashes, vision problems, brain fog, depression, kidney damage, thyroid dysfunction and significant pain. Many had to have the implants removed.

The LA Times reports that:

“Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay about $1 billion to resolve most lawsuits claiming it sold defective metal-on-metal hips that ultimately had to be removed, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

“With the agreement, J&J has now resolved more than 95% of the 6,000 cases in which surgeons extracted the Pinnacle implants because of defects that left patients unable to walk and in pain, according to two people familiar with the settlements. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to talk publicly about the accords.”

If you would like to learn more about the scandal surrounding medical devices (including bad hip implants) and the FDA approval process, we encourage you to take a few minutes to listen to our interview with Jeanne Lenzer, author of The Danger Within Us: America’s Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man’s Battle to Survive It. Here is a link to Show 1123: What Are the Unexpected Dangers of Medical Devices?

You can listen to the streaming audio by clicking on the green arrow above Jeanne’s photo or download the mp3 file at the bottom of the page. They are both free.

Roundup (Glyphosate) and a $2 Billion Jury Award:

We won’t say strike three for Bayer, but this is the third jury verdict against the company that acquired Monsanto and its controversial weed killer, Roundup. The chemical is also known by the name glyphosate. 

In this case, a married couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, both contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer. They attributed it to their use of glyphosate to kill weeds on their property. The jury agreed and awarded the pair $1 billion each in punitive damages. What’s more, the jury also said the company owed the couple $55 million in compensatory damages. The agricultural chemical maker is looking at an additional 13,000 US lawsuits at least. 

Scientists have debated whether or not Roundup causes cancer. Juries are apparently coming to their own conclusions.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
Show 1123: What Are the Unexpected Dangers of Medical Devices?
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The FDA does not require clinical trials before it approves most medical devices. The consequences can be frightening. What should be done?

Show 1123: What Are the Unexpected Dangers of Medical Devices?
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Have no idea how much each hip implant patient received and I’m sure a fair settlement would be due them. BUT, I am against all these multi-million/billion dollar settlements. WE ALL END UP PAYING FOR THEM IN THE LONG RUN…..
I personally have used Roundup in my yard for many years and have nothing but satisfactory results and never any problems health wise. What did they do, drink it? Smear it on their skin. Use according to directions with proper clothing and the product is super great for killing unwanted plants in the yard.

I have been eating a lot of oatmeal for a long time. There was Roundup in my oatmeal. I switched to organic oatmeal, hopefully containing less Roundup. Some GMO crops were designed specifically to have a better tolerance to Roundup. That is cause for concern.

Netflix has a documentary out called “The Bleeding Edge” that looks at this issue. Dr Towers, an orthopedic surgeon in Anchorage who is on this video, explains what happens to him after having metal on metal hip implants.

What can I do about a mangled double hernia operation with the mesh. The results have ruined my life since 2003. The mesh creates intense unbearable nerve pain each and every day since that operation.

I have sought help and retribution but have been told there is a statute of limitations that I am not eligible for.
After the initial surgery two years later another surgery found the mesh was so netted and entangled that it was impossible to correct.

I have suffered immeasurable pain that cannot be described. Is there any help for me?

I read the book and was even more appalled at the blatant disregard by the companies and gov system that is supposed to protect us (that is powered by
tax payer money) of the harm caused to consumers. Solely due to money.

I wonder how they were able to sue as didn’t it say that once a product was ‘passed’ by the FDA, the company could not be liable for the harm caused by their product? Something like the protection vaccine companies have protecting them?

I think that the citizen jury system is an ineffective place to consider science. There is a little evidence that RoundUp causes cancer. The indirect testing has gone both negative and positive. Kind of like feeding a rat a pound of salt.
Also, just because someone uses RoundUp (I do in my yard) and they get cancer, doesn’t mean that the RoundUp caused the cancer. People drink water and some of them get cancer. Does drinking water cause cancer?

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