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J&J negotiating possible $2 billion implant settlement: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson is negotiating a potential $2 billion settlement with patients who received its recalled artificial hip implant, Bloomberg News reported on Friday, citing five people familiar with the matter.

J&J has offered to pay more than $200,000 per case, a deal that could top $2 billion if most plaintiffs accept the terms, but lawyers for the hip recipients have so far rejected the offer as too low, the sources said.

The settlement talks are likely to continue at least until the first trials of lawsuits over the product start next week, Bloomberg said.

Lorie Gawreluk, a spokeswoman for J&J's DePuy unit, which made the implants, said the company was unable to discuss details of its litigation strategy.

"The company will defend itself against the allegations raised in the lawsuits, and DePuy believes the evidence to be presented at trial will show the company acted appropriately and responsibly," she said in an email.

DePuy recalled its ASR all-metal hip system in 2010 after it failed at a higher-than-expected rate, with some patients experiencing pain, swelling, joint dislocation and sometimes systemic damage to the central nervous system, thyroid and heart.

On Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposal calling on companies that make all-metal hip replacements to provide additional information proving they are safe and effective before being allowed to continue selling them.

(Editing by John Wallace)

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