By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published on May 29, 2018

Defective Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Five plaintiffs were awarded a total of $502 million dollars in the 2nd test (bellwether) case to go to trial against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) relating to its Depuy Pinnacle hip implants, in January of 2016,  J&J appealed the verdict, which the trial judge reduced to $151 million dollars.  The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument on December 7, 2017, and issued their opinion  in April 2018. The Fifth Circuit overturned the entire verdict and remanded the case back to the Northern District of Texas and Judge Ed Kinkeade for a new trial.

While this ruling may be worrying to people who have been waiting for a long time with pending Pinnacle Hip claims, we believe the ruling confirmed  that the Plaintiffs prevailed on the merits and on nearly every underlying substantive legal issue set forth in J&J’s appeal.  The 5th Circuit focused on rulings specific to those cases on trial and held that Judge Kinkeade erred in allowing Plaintiffs’ lawyers to present certain inflammatory character evidence against J&J.  The 5th Circuit ruled that allowing that inflammatory evidence before the jury tainted the verdict, requiring a new trial for each of the five plaintiffs.

Despite the disappointing remand for a new trial, the Fifth Circuit’s decision contains excellent rulings in many key areas. Additionally, the character evidence the 5th Circuit ruled should not have been presented to the jury has not been allowed into evidence in any of the subsequent bellwether trials, and each of those resulted in large jury verdicts.  While we disagree with the 5th Circuit’s ruling, we agree with the decision of Plaintiffs’ counsel in this matter not to appeal the ruling and to move forward with a new trial as soon as possible.

The 5th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral argument next month relating to the September 2016 California bellwether trial which resulted in a $1 billion dollar verdict.   In the meantime, if you have a failed metal-on-metal hip implant made by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics, Biomet, Stryker Orthopaedics, Wright Conserve, or Zimmer Holdings, you may be eligible to file a claim for damages. You may be compensated for medical expenses from replacement, money damages for the pain, suffering, physical injuries,and any other losses, such as lost income,  that 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. Seek legal advice immediately. Courts apply strict time limits to all personal injury cases.