Closing arguments are set to begin Thursday in Los Angeles in a high-stakes trial where healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is accused of negligence in designing and marketing a once-popular artificial hip.
The case in Los Angeles County Superior Court pits the world’s biggest maker of medical products against Loren Kransky, a 65-year-old former prison guard who claims he suffered metal poisoning and other health problems from the company’s ASR hip implant he received in 2007.
J&J, based in New Brunswick, N.J., recalled about 93,000 of these ASR artificial hips in 2010 after they were tied to higher-than-expected failure rates. Last week, the company disclosed that federal officials are investigating the marketing of these hip replacements, a lucrative business as baby boomers age and their joints increasingly give out.
The company said it is cooperating fully with the inquiry.
J&J has denied Kransky’s claims that it defectively designed this hip implant and failed to warn patients about the risks. Attorneys for J&J have said that Kransky’s ailing health was due to his diabetes, kidney cancer and other longstanding medical problems.