I usually don't put much stock in these kinds of reports. In this case I think the report is credible for two reasons. First I have personally seen the underlying liability documents in these cases in representing my own clients. Having seen first hand the evidence i would settle too if i was advising J&J. Second my experience has been that when Bloomberg reports something like this they have usually double checked their sources.
Bloomberg News (8/21, Feeley, Voreacos) reports Johnson & Johnson, which “faces about 8,000 lawsuits over hip implants it recalled in 2010, has agreed to pay about $600,000 to resolve three cases in the first settlements of the litigation, people familiar with the accords said.” Officials of J&J's “DePuy unit agreed earlier this month to settle Nevada residents' suits…before they were scheduled to go to trial later this year,” according to the people who were speaking on the “condition of anonymity.” Meanwhile, Eric Gordon, a business “professor at the University of Michigan who follows the pharmaceutical industry,” said J&J officials “were able to negotiate settlements 'at the low end of what the company should have expected' to pay.” According to Gordon, J&J “should have expected to pay in the $200,000-to-$500,000 range per case.”