J & J Ordered to Pay $500 Million in Hip Implant Cases
A Texas federal jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy unit to pay about $500 million to five plaintiffs who said they suffered injuries as a result of the company’s Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants. According to a Reuters news report, the verdict came after a two-month trial. Jurors found that the Pinnacle metal hips were defectively designed and that the companies failed to warn consumers about the risk of early failure. Jurors awarded $140 million in total compensatory damages and about $360 in punitive damages. J & J has said it will appeal the verdict.
The personal injury law firm of Bisnar Chase is representing plaintiffs who are part of the DePuy Pinnacle hip multi-district litigation in the Northern District of Texas. This jury verdict is encouraging for our legal team and the clients we are representing in this important product liability lawsuit. Jurors in this case clearly found that not only were these metal-on-metal hip implants defectively designed, but that the companies in question failed to warn consumers that the implants could degrade and cause serious side effects. While J & J has vowed to appeal and this large verdict will likely be slashed, jurors made an important determination.
Defective Hip Implants
All five of the plaintiffs involved in this particular case were implanted with Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip devices. The design flaws caused the devices to fail more frequently and quickly than expected leading to tissue damage, bone erosion and high levels of metal in the blood caused by metal parts rubbing against one another. But J & J misled consumers by marketing these metal hips as “durable” and long lasting in spite of being aware of the risks. The companies also aggressively promoted them for use in younger, more active patients. J & J stopped selling the metal-on-metal version of the Pinnacle devices in 2013. In 2013, the company paid $2.5 billion to settle 7,000 lawsuits involving its metal hips.
It is also significant to note that the jury in this case awarded punitive damages, which are only awarded in egregious product liability cases to discourage corporations from indulging in unethical practices. Our legal team hopes to get justice for our clients who have been injured by these defective hip implants and hold the manufacturers accountable.