J&J will pay $2.5 billion to settle hip implant suits

Johnson & Johnson said late Tuesday that it will pay $2.5 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits brought by hip replacement patients who accuse the company of selling faulty implants that led to injuries and additional surgeries.

The agreement presented in U.S. District Court in Toledo, Ohio, is one of the largest for the medical device industry. It resolves an estimated 8,000 cases of patients who had to have the company’s metal ball-and-socket hip implant removed or replaced. J&J pulled the implant from the market in 2010 after data showed it failed sooner than older implants.

The deal provides roughly $250,000 per patient and covers those who had their implants removed or replaced before Aug. 31 this year. The company expects to make most of the payments to patients in 2014.

Bernanke defends efforts to make Fed less secretive

Ben Bernanke offered a broad defense Tuesday of the Federal Reserve’s policies under his leadership two months before his eight-year tenure ends.

Bernanke said the Great Recession made it essential for the Fed to become more publicly transparent so it could explain why record-low interest rates were needed to support the economy.

The recession meant that the Fed’s communications had to evolve in ways he didn’t envision when he became chairman in 2006, Bernanke said. Still, he became leader with a long-held view that a less secretive Fed was in the public’s interest.

“I believed then, as I do today, that transparency in monetary policy enhances public understanding and confidence,” Bernanke said at the annual dinner of the National Economists Club.

Some critics have argued that the Fed’s efforts to provide more information to the public have sometimes confused more than clarified the central bank’s intentions.

Jury still deciding amount that Samsung owes Apple

A federal jury on Tuesday was handed a $327 million difference of opinion between Apple and Samsung in their global patent feud.

And while that amount may be trivial for the two tech titans and their multibillion-dollar war chests, lawyers for both made it clear to the jurors that the outcome has much broader implications for their ongoing courtroom collision over smartphone and tablet technology rights. And that collision centers on Apple’s claims that Samsung should pay a steep price for copying iPhone and iPad technology.

“This is an important case,” Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said. “If juries take the profit out of patent infringement, then patent infringement will stop.”

The jury will resume deliberating Wednesday.

– From news service reports