Jury Orders J & J To Pay $500 Million In Hip Implant Cases
A Texas federal jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy (Pronounced DePew) 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.
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. It is likely that J & J will appeal the verdict.
About DePuy ASR & Defective Hip Implants
DePuy Orthopaedics designed the Pinnacle Hip Replacement System, the ASR XL Acetabular System, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing system to accommodate younger hip replacement patients. The designs were supposed to allow for more flexibility and range of motion.
A feature of this system—the metal-on-metal-construction – was supposed to help reduce failure rates. However, studies found that design flaws caused devices to fail more frequently; potentially leading to tissue damage, bone erosion, and levels of metal in the blood.
Conflict Of Interest Between Surgeons & Manufacturers
The recent lawsuit alleged that J & J aggressively promoted the DePuy Hip Replacement devices for use in younger, more active patients. In fact, recent studies on five major joint replacement manufacturers: Biomet, DePuy, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, and Zimmer published data regarding advertising practices.
It was found that approximately 1,000 of the 25,000 U.S. orthopedic surgeons studied received fees for consulting, royalties on the products, and payments for research or clinical study work from the major manufacturers.
Additionally, researchers found in the 2009 and 2010 disclosures from DePuy, that not only did the number of payments to surgeons increase in those years but also the percentage given to surgeons with academic affiliations.
J & J stopped selling the metal-on-metal version of the Pinnacle devices in 2013.
It is important to note that the jury in this recent DuPuy case awarded punitive damages, which are only awarded in the most grossly negligent of product liability cases to discourage other corporations from indulging in similar unethical practices.
Lawsuits In & Out Of St. Louis Area
If you have experienced pain, swelling, nerve damage, bone damage, or blood poisoning after receiving a DePuy hip implant, you have legal options.
Consider speaking with a qualified personal injury or products liability attorney about filing a legal claim. The lawyer can help you determine your compensation options.
Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers is a St. Louis-based law firm, but we are looking at DePuy hip replacement cases throughout the entire United States. Our attorneys offer consultations free-of-charge, and we don’t see a penny unless we win your case.
To learn more about your options, call 314.444.4444.