Thursday, February 16, 2012

Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy division: “Since nobody’s stopping us, let’s keep on crippling people. There’s big money in it.”

So okay, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy division comes up with an artificial hip that supposedly is going to last longer and provide more durability than other artificial hips and help make walking look and feel more natural.

Let’s wildly assume that the product was brought to market in good faith. Nevertheless, by 2009, the DePuy hip is failing like a dimwitted six year in an advanced calculus class. People who’ve had the implant are in severe pain. They’re not only not walking better, they’re walking like people who’ve been crippled by their pain.

Surgeons who implanted the hips open their patients up again and find what the New York Times called “mysterious masses of dead tissue,” inside and around the thighs of some of these patients.

Worse, DePuy “received repeated warnings that the implant was failing and that surgeons were abandoning it.” And what  did DePuy do? For a painfully long time (pun intended) they kept stating despite the evidence that the hip implant was performing “on a par with competing devices.”

Even after the Food and Drug Administration forced J&J’s DePuy unit to take the product off the market, they kept peddling this crippling and evidently toxic implant in Europe, according to an article that popped up yesterday in the New York Times.

There’s more to the story than that, and I urge you, if you haven’t already clicked on the link, to go here and read the disgusting truth in detail.

But there’s more to the story that you won’t find in the New York Times. A few years ago, the Crank’s brother had poisonous DePuy hips inserted on both his left and right side. Last year, he needed to go through surgery to have one of the DePuy hips removed and replaced by a safer brand. The other hip hasn’t failed. Yet.

The Crank’s brother has a law degree and of course is suing J&J. But he is not sanguine about the outcome. He says that if he takes the case before a jury, he is not likely, at the age of 60-something, to live long enough to see the money because corporate law allows deep-pocketed companies to keep on...and keep on...and still keeping on appealing. The case could go on for a decade or more.

J&J knows this, so they're chiseling on settlement offers. The Crank’s brother tells me the company is offering paltry settlements in the area of $300,000 per hip, knowing that few of J&J’s victims want to go through the lengthy and onerous appeals process.

So who gets what from the settlement? According to The Crank's brother, the lawyer trying the case gets a third. The victim of Johnson &Johnson and DePuy gets a third. And the other third? Believe it or not, it goes to the health insurance company – in this case Medicare – which paid for the surgery and hospital stays, since they're victims of J&J and DePuy, too, if only financial victims.

That’s why the corrupt Republicans who want to eliminate medical malpractice law suits ought to be voted out of Congress. If they had their way, neither J&J’s victims or Medicare would get a dime back as a consequence of Johnson and Johnson's callous disregard for safety or human suffering. Both the taxpayers and the surgical victims would suffer.

Ditto for the evil or idiotic Congressmen who want to reduce regulations on businesses such as Johnson &Johnson. This case clearly demonstrates we need more regulation, not less.

As for the senior executives of DePuy and Johnson and Johnson, they ought to be sentenced to having both their hips forcibly replaced with the faulty DePuy hips, with no chance of removal. 


Scribble A Day said...

Oh you silly old crank. We don't need more regulations. Because the free market place will take care of itself. When people learn that the hip replacements are bad, they will just stop buying this brand, and everything will be hunky dory. Isn't that what Ron & Rand Paul keep telling us? The people will regulate businesses with their dollars. And if a few people have to suffer in the meantime, well, that's just the price of freedom, right?

But seriously, best wishes to your brother. I hope the new hip works well for him. And the DePuy is one that doesn't fail. I can't imagine having to go through that surgery more than once.

Unknown said...

"As for the senior executives of DePuy and Johnson and Johnson, they ought to be sentenced to having both their hips forcibly replaced with the faulty DePuy hips, with no chance of removal. "

-Lol! That was just a very mild sentence.
what else we can do but to sue them. DePuy hip lawsuit is our only hope.