SC accepts govt response on compensation for J&J hip implant victims

Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court on Friday accepted the government’s response on the compensation formula it had arrived at for victims of faulty hip implants manufactured by Johnson & Johnson (J&J). The top court also asked the central government to give wide publicity to the scheme so that the victims could come and claim compensation.

Disposing off the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the case, a two-judge bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul considered the response filed by the Health Ministry and said that steps had been taken to provide compensation to the victims.

A PIL filed in the top court had alleged that “faulty” and “deadly” hip implants have been fitted into the bodies of 4,525 Indian patients who had undergone replacement surgeries since 2005. Though J&J requested to record in the order that disposal of the PIL would not prejudice its case going on in the Delhi High Court, top court refused to do so and closed the PIL.

Earlier on December 13 last year, the Delhi High Court had refused to hear J&J’s plea challenging the government notification asking them to pay compensation to patients affected by faulty hip implants and deferred the matter to February 26, 2019. A single-judge Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru had then said that the company’s plea was “neither important nor urgent” and hence would not be heard immediately.

In 2017, the Centre had set up a committee led by Arun Aggarwal to look after patients’ problems caused by faulty hip implants produced and distributed by Johnson & Johnson India and DePuy Orthopaedics INC collectively. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc is a fully-owned arm of J&J. The committee, which submitted its report in August 2018, had found J&J guilty of concealing information and said that the company should continue the compensation program till August 2025 so that all patients were duly reimbursed. It had suggested that the victims be provided compensation between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1.22 crore.

Source: Business Standard