Tennessee will get a small slice of a $120 million nationwide settlement over defective hip replacements. States accused Johnson & Johnson of misleading patients about the safety of metal-on-metal hips.
State attorneys general claim Johnson & Johnson's orthopedic division, DePuy, deceived patients with claims about how long the all-metal hips would last. The company held that less than 1 percent had problems after three years, when outside data from Europe showed it was more like 7 percent.
Tennessee will get nearly $2.4 million, which can be used to fund more consumer protection lawsuits.
The funds don't go directly to patients, but many them have joined broad settlements that are costing Johnson & Johnson more than $400 million. Others have successfully sued on their own after suffering painful dislocations and enduring multiple surgeries.
One Chattanooga man who had a procedure at a Nashville hospital even ended up with mind-altering cobalt poisoning, after tiny shards of metal wound up in his blood.
"You just feel like you are a burden on everyone. You can’t drive or do anything," Paul McCurley said in a 2011 press release announcing his own lawsuit. That year, McCurley had another surgery to replace the failed hip joint.
DePuy recalled the ASR XL hip in 2010 and the Pinnacle Ultamet hip was taken off the market. The trouble with metal-on-metal hips, which has been the focus of international reporting in recent months, has helped inspire the Food and Drug Administration to rethink its fast-track process for approving most medical devices.