“Kransk ASR® Jury Award” - Editorial Comments
I believe we have the best of all world opportunities here in the United States but there are times when I wonder about our justice system. The Kransk ASR judicial hearing has highlighted the recent problems of metal-on-metal bearings. Wear generated debris from bearings of total hip arthroplasties and resurfacing arthroplasties can cause considerable tissue destruction and bone necrosis causing long-term patient disability. The metal ions may also be disseminated systemically within the patient’s body.
The recent decision of the jury to award $8,338,000 in compensation damages for a revised ASR metal-on-metal bearing hip seems to be excessively punitive, even though the jury found that DePuy adequately warned of the risks associated with their use of this device. Kransky’s lawyers had asked jurors for $338,000 in economic damages, $5 million in economic damages for pain and suffering, and up to $179 million in punitive damages. No punitive damages were awarded, so it is reasonable to question the additional $3 million beyond the asking compensation for pain and suffering.
Since the jury awarded higher than requested compensation for pain and suffering one has to ask was this decision the act of an overly sympathetic jury especially in light of a comment made by a juror after the verdict “I wanted punitive damages.”
Orthopaedics This Week - Monday, March 11, 2013
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Copyright (c) 2014 Timothy McTighe, Dr. H.S. (hc)
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