Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 14, 2013, 7:45pm

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) -- Johnson & Johnson has agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits over defective all-metal replacement hips for up to $4 billion, according to reports this week.

Sources told The New York Times Tuesday that the tentative plan would include patients who've already had the devices -- Articular Surface Replacements -- removed and replaced with something different.

Under the deal, each patient would receive about $350,000 on average in compensation.

The $4 billion settlement would be one of the largest payouts for medical device product liability claims, the Times noted.

But the final cost could increase, depending on how many claimants already implanted with the devices end up having operations to replace them in the future, the sources told the newspaper.

DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, recalled the ASRs in 2010.

Since then, more than 10,000 people have sued in state and federal courts in the United States.

The metal-on-metal replacement began to fail soon after implantation, as opposed to plastic and metal hip implants. Those typically last 15 years or more.

With the DePuy replacement, metal can flake off into the body and cause tissue and bone damage.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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