With every product recall like the DePuy hip replacement recall, the manufacturer crafts a system for compensating those who purchased its product. DePuy’s recall is somewhat unusual because its terms are so vague, and DePuy chose to depart from the usual convention of operating the recall itself. Instead, DePuy and its parent, Johnson & Johnson, hired Broadspire Services, Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Crawford & Crawford, a large insurance company. Broadspire specializes in workers’ compensation claims and other medical claims, and once it hired Broadspire, DePuy informed the public that it would reimburse recipients of its ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System with the “reasonable and customary costs” associated with the recall. It never specifically defined “reasonable and customary,” but by hiring Broadspire, it signaled to recipients that it would closely decide who would receive compensation and how much. Nearly a year and a half after the recall began, a New York Times article discussed how the process had proceeded.
Her Bill Would ‘Be Turned over to a Collection Agency’
To qualify for reimbursement, ASR recipients must demonstrate to Broadspire that they received the implants, they failed, and that they underwent revision procedures to remove them. Broadspire then decides on a case-by-case basis which recipients receive reimbursements and how much, if it doesn’t believe recipients suffered as much as they claimed to. If a recipient’s insurance carrier or Medicare paid for the initial procedure, it gets reimbursed.
“Things have not gone smoothly,” is the Times characterization of DePuy’s recall claims compensation process. The article highlighted the case of one ASR claimant, a Maine resident named Paula Laverty, who received a notice from her hospital that if she did not pay $41,578 in a timely fashion, it would sell her bill to a collection agency. It took Ms. Laverty weeks to sort the situation out with DePuy, and she found out that it had only paid $18,000 of her full hospital bill. DePuy managed to resume payments in December.
RLG Represents Those Injured by All-Metal Hip Replacements
Readers of Paula Laverty’s story might believe DePuy’s and Johnson & Johnson’s recall claims process is flawed. Broadspire determines who receives reimbursements and how much, yet it might not even make timely payments. How many other claimants had to call DePuy repeatedly to make it pay their bills as promised? Have any recipients’ credit scores been impacted? Have any filed bankruptcy?
Worst of all, the amount of compensation from a hip replacement lawsuit might be greater than by going through the Broadspire claims process. A plaintiff in a DePuy hip replacement lawsuit can recover full medical costs, lost wages, transportation costs, damages for pain and suffering, and possibly punitive damages. Contrast that with DePuy’s offer of “reasonable and customary” compensation. If you are interested in filing a DePuy lawsuit, the Rottenstein Law Group offers free, confidential legal consultations to those who believe their ASR devices injured them.
Click on this link or complete the contact form to the right, and one of RLG’s hip replacement lawyers will reach out to you as soon as possible.
For more information, download this DePuy ASR brochure.