By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Posted on March 18, 2016

A federal jury awarded over $500 million dollars to 5 patients who claimed injuries from their Johnson & Johnson DePuy Pinnacle metal hip implants. The verdict was delivered after a week of deliberation following two months of trial. The cases were consolidated for trial by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, who oversees the Pinnacle multi-district litigation in Dallas, Texas.

The jury awarded $142 million in actual damages to the five plaintiffs, Texas residents Margaret Aoki, Jay Christopher, Donald Greer, Richard Klusmann, and Robert Peterson. The jury awarded $360 million in punitive damages. The verdict is the second largest verdict in the United States this year.

Each plaintiff was implanted with DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants (Ultamet Liner) that failed and had to be surgically removed and replaced. They presented evidence that they experienced leaching of cobalt & chromium metals into their bloodstreams, and suffered metallosis, tissue necrosis, severe pain and inflammation of surrounding tissue, bone erosion, and other problems.

The jury found that the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implants were defective, and that Johnson & Johnson knew about the defects but failed to warn doctors and patients of the risks. The jury heard that Johnson & Johnson aggressively marketed the Pinnacle hips as long-lasting, durable, and safe. Evidence was presented that J&J paid bribes and kickbacks overseas, and that J&J marketing and promotion in the U.S. included paying doctors millions of dollars to promote the hips, in the process misleading doctors and patients about the safety of the devices.

This was the second federal bellwether trial (test trial) involving the Pinnacle hip implants. The first ended in a defense verdict in 2014. More than 8,000 cases remain consolidated in federal court in Texas against Johnson & Johnson for the Pinnacle hip implants; the next bellwether trial is scheduled for the fall. Johnson & Johnson has announced it will appeal this verdict.

If you received a defective metal-on-metal hip implant,including those manufactured by Biomet, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics, Stryker Orthopaedics, Wright Conserve, or Zimmer Holdings, you may be eligible to file a claim for money damages for the pain, suffering, physical injuries, lost income, medical expenses from replacement, and any other losses you suffered as a result of your injuries.  Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in Massachusetts drug and medical device litigation. The consultation is free and completely confidential. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case. Like all legal cases, hip implant claims have short, strictly enforced time limits, and you should seek legal advice immediately.