News reports that Johnson & Johnson has tentatively agreed to pay $4 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits filed over its recalled metal on metal DePuy ASR hip system hit the media yesterday. According to Bloomberg’s report, the executive committee of plaintiffs’ lawyers leading the nationwide litigation gave a statement honoring a court order on confidentiality of negotiations: “Any comment relating to settlement that does not come from leadership, the court, or from the company itself, remains speculative.” U.S. District Judge David Katz in Toledo, Ohio, who is coordinating federal litigation, needs to approve any settlement. As such, our position is to treat this talk as just speculation. Unless or until an announcement is made, the best practice is to assume that there's no deal in place.
It is important for Washington residents who have an ASR hip implant to be mindful of this backdrop. As soon as any official word becomes available, it will be posted here immediately. Bloomberg predicts that could happen as early as next week. But we'll just have to see how it plays out. Check back frequently for updates.