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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

A jury in Dallas federal court ordered Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit to pay more than $1 billion dollars to six Pinnacle hip recipients who suffered serious medical complications from their DePuy Pinnacle hip implants. The jury found that the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hips were defectively designed and that J&J and DePuy failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks.

The jury awarded more than $30 million dollars in actual damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) and more than $1 billion dollars in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson reportedly rejected a $1.8 million dollar offer to settle before the trial. According to Bloomberg, this is the third largest verdict in 2016.

The plaintiffs, six Californians, presented evidence that their Pinnacle hip implants caused elevated metal levels in their bodies which resulted in bone erosion, tissue death, and other injuries they attributed to defective design. Pinnacle implants utilize a metal head and a metal socket, instead of safer ceramic or polyethylene components. The metal components rub against each other, deteriorating within the body and giving off metal fragments as they corrode, which can cause bone and tissue to deteriorate over time. Each plaintiff was required to have their implant surgically removed and replaced. J&J and DePuy marketed the metal-on-metal implants as a safer, longer-lasting design.

This was the third test case (“bellwether”) in the Pinnacle hip implant litigation. The previous case resulted in a $500 million verdict for five plaintiffs. Johnson & Johnson won the first bellwether case.

Almost 9,000 Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits are still pending against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit. The company announced plans to appeal the verdict, denying all liability.

If you have a failed metal-on-metal hip implant, whether from Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics, or those manufactured by Biomet, Stryker Orthopaedics, Wright Conserve, or Zimmer Holdings, you may be eligible to file a claim. You may be compensated for lost income, medical expenses from replacement, money damages for the pain, suffering, physical injuries,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 specialist in Massachusetts drug and medical device litigation. The consultation is completely confidential. Do not delay seeking legal advice. Courts apply strict time limits to all civil cases.