Risks Encountered When One Signs an Agreement with DePuy after the Hip Recall

27/10/2011 22:23

In the wake of the current DePuy hip replacement recall, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary has been making an all-out effort in convincing patients to accept inadequate compensatory damages in exchange for access to their private medical records and for the return of defective hip implants after being surgically removed. Patients should know the risk they are taking if they sign any agreement with DePuy before consulting with a lawyer that handles hip recall cases. Recently, Johnson & Johnson is still under fire with lawsuits filed against it over other untested products.


DePuy has already initiated contact with patients who received defective implants, offering them reimbursements for any losses incurred due to these products. However, the company utilizes vague and ambiguous terms in their agreements, claiming that it will reimburse “certain out-of-pocket expenses” in exchange for “simply” signing medical releases that give DePuy access to private medical records and force the patient to return the defective implant after corrective surgery.  The harsh truth is that DePuy will only reimburse patients for “limited and reasonable” costs.What the company considers “reasonable” will most likely be equivalent to an amount significantly less than what the patient deserves to be compensated.
What this means to the patient is that they will be signing over their right to privacy and other significant legal rights in exchange for minimal to no financial compensation.  There is no turning back once a patient has signed an agreement with DePuy since it becomes difficult to file any future hip replacement lawsuits with the company in order to be properly compensated.
DePuy may confront patients with reimbursement agreements directly through a company employee or indirectly through a licensed physician.  By the request of the company, doctors may present their patients affected by the hip recall with paperwork regarding reimbursements which is a practice that is ethically questionable.  It is not difficult to see why this practice is being challenged since most patients are more likely to sign over their legal rights if the paperwork comes from a trusted physician. With either circumstance, it is imperative that patients affected by this recall seek legal advice of an attorney handling hip replacement recall cases before signing any paperwork that is presented to them.
Patients may already have accumulated additional expenses due to a defective implant from necessary medical tests, suffered physical and emotion pain and reduced mobility, or needed corrective surgery of the original implant.  They may also have obtained other damages such as loss of income, or have become at risk for these types of damages due to the hip implant recall. Patients should know the risks of signing any agreement associated with the DePuy hip replacement recall.