A jury in a Dallas, Texas court ordered Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy subsidiary to pay $502 million to five plaintiffs who claim to have been injured by its DePuy Pinnacle hip implant. The ruling, rendered on March 17th, comes after a two-month long trial which determined that the metal-on-metal hip replacement system had both been defectively designed and that DePuy had not warned patients and healthcare professionals regarding the potential risks that were associated with the devices.
The jury verdict awarded the five plaintiffs in the case $142 million in actual damages and $360 million in punitive damages the devices failed and then forced each to have the device surgically removed.
This verdict is the first for the manufacturers of the Pinnacle hip device but it probably won’t be the last. As of this writing, more than 8,000 additional lawsuits have been filed and are currently pending in federal court.
In a past verdict, the jury found in favor of Johnson & Johnson because the surgeon had incorrectly implanted the device. A similar argument was used in the Dallas trial, but with a different outcome in the case.
A spokesperson for DePuy, Mindy Tinsley, defended the company said that it plans to appeal the verdict and asserted that the company “acted appropriately and responsibly in the design and testing” of the Pinnacle hip devices.
In the state of Texas, however, even if the appeals court stands beside the recent verdict, the state law may view the $360 million dollar award for the plaintiffs as excessive.
Hip replacement surgery remains to be a popular option for those who have suffered from a hip injury or arthritis. A hip replacement offers hope of less pain and increased mobility for those who opt for the surgery. However, for those who have had metal-on-metal hip replacements such as those made by DePuy in their Pinnacle hip replacement system, there can be other types of pain and health risks involved. Often when the devices fail, those same patients must opt for additional surgery for the removal and replacement of those sub-par hip devices.
Contact the law offices of John Foy & Associates. We are Atlanta’s Strong Arm Attorneys and want to help you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to determine if you have a case.