Some late-breaking news: The Depuy ASR Settlement Agreement has been extended to cover injured people who received a revision surgery after January 31, 2015. The extension was announced yesterday. Here’s how it works: if you received a Depuy ASR artificial hip, and then had revision surgery to remove the component between January 31, 2015 and February 15, 2017, you now may qualify to participate in the Settlement Agreement negotiated between plaintiffs and the defendants.
Let’s back up.
Before Yesterday, Where Were We?
Two settlement agreements have been reached in the Depuy ASR multi-district litigation (MDL). To qualify for the “2013 Settlement” you must have undergone revision surgery on or before August 31, 2013. To qualify for the “2015 Settlement” you must have undergone revision surgery between August 31, 2013 and January 31, 2015. The key terms in both settlement agreements were essentially the same, and the amounts you were entitled to recover were also the same.
These settlement agreements had deadlines which created a large group of people who could not participate in the settlement, specifically those who had not undergone revision by January 31, 2015 (including some of my clients).
The Depuy ASR hip was recalled on August 24, 2010, over six years ago. That meant that people were still receiving the Depuy ASR implants in 2010 and likely after August 24, 2010 (as it takes time before a recall is fully communicated to the medical community). Let’s say you had hip replacement surgery on in May 15, 2010, but you did not feel severe pain for a few years, then finally decided to undergo revision surgery on February 15, 2015. At that point you were beyond the January 31, 2015 deadline in the second Settlement Agreement and could not participate in settlement.
Even though your claims for injuries were just as valid as any other injured person who came before and who qualified to participate in the settlement based on (arbitrary) settlement deadlines, you could not settle your case. First, remember that the Depuy ASR hip components failed at an unreasonably high rate for patients. Second, even though your revision surgery occurred after January 31, 2015, it is still revision surgery, a painful procedure which became necessary only because the Depuy ASR hip failed. So there was always a group of people who were injured but not eligible to participate in the settlement. Fortunately, that temporary injustice was rectified yesterday.
I predicted last year the Depuy ASR MDL would eventually extend the deadlines for participation in the settlement. I am glad they finally made the announcement yesterday.
Recap: ASR Revision Surgery Between January 31, 2015 and February 15, 2017
Again, to be eligible you must have first received a Depuy ASR artificial hip and then had revision surgery to remove the ASR components between January 31, 2015 and February 15, 2017. Before this decision those people who received revision surgeries after January 31, 2015 were essentially left in limbo.
Deadlines Extended for Late Filers
In addition, the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for the Depuy ASR litigation announced that those cases that had been eligible to participate in the first two rounds of settlement were still eligible to participate in the settlement program. I understand this to mean that if you received a revision surgery prior to January 31, 2015, but somehow failed to bring a claim by the deadlines (maybe you were not aware of the settlement or the deadlines) you can now request to participate fully in the settlement (if you meet all criteria for settlement). This is a nice development, as the language of the first two settlements indicated that if you did not bring a claim by a certain date, you would not be eligible to participate. My takeaway is that all sides are now working hard to include every available person who may have been harmed by the failed Depuy ASR components.
Part B “Extraordinary Injury Fund” Also Extended
The Part B section of the Settlement Agreements, which I wrote about here, will also be made available for individuals who received revision surgeries after January 31, 2015. As I’ve written about on this site, the Part B awards were built around “extraordinary injury” following the artificial hip failure, and provided extra compensation to people suffering from particularly bad results, such as heart attack, stroke, foot drop, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, dislocation, or infection, and monetary losses like lost earnings.
If you had the Depuy ASR artificial hip implanted, and underwent revision surgery on or after February 1, 2015, you may now be eligible to participate in the Depuy ASR settlement program. Good luck, and call me if I can answer any other questions.