J&J Hit With $110 Million Verdict in Talc Ovarian Cancer Case

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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published on May 4, 2017

 

UPDATE: In November 2017 trial judge Rex Burlison upheld the verdict, ruling that Missouri jurisdiction was proper, as defendants Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc use Union, Missouri company Pharma Tech Industries, for labeling, packaging and distributing talc products.

In the latest win for women claiming Johnson and Johnson’s talcum powder caused their ovarian cancers, a jury has awarded $110 million to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after four decades of using J&J’s  Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder.  The jury found that Johnson & Johnson ignored decades of scientific research linking talcum powder use with ovarian cancer, and failed to warn consumers of the risk.

The St. Louis, Missouri state court jury awarded $5.4 million in actual damages against Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys Talc, as well as $105 in punitive damages against J&J and $50,000 against Imerys. The jury ruled that Johnson and Johnson was 99% at fault.

The plaintiff, Lois Slemp, a 62-year-old Virginia mom of two grown sons, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012.  She is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of her cancer, now considered Stage III(c) as it has spread to her liver. Her case was expedited due to her deteriorating health.

This is the fifth case to go to trial  since 2016. The most recent case was a defense verdict; the first three cases results in verdicts of $72 million, $55 million, and $70 million.

Evidence was presented that asbestos particles were found inside Slemp. In this case, unlike the preceding trials, it was alleged that the J&J powders she used contained asbestos.

More than 2390 cases are pending against Johnson and Johnson alleging failure to warn against the known risk of using talcum powder products in the genital area.

Johnson & Johnson has announced it will appeal the verdict.

Women who use talcum powder should switch to a powder made without talc, such as cornstarch powder. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, call the talcum powder lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a confidential and free consultation. You can call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a no-obligation evaluation of your legal rights. Seek legal advice without delay, as all legal claims have short time limits  that are strictly enforced.

J&J Ordered to Pay $20 Million to Victim of Defective Pelvic Mesh

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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published on May 2, 2017

A Pennsylvania state court jury in Philadelphia concluded that Johnson & Johnson’s TVT-Secur mesh, designed to treat incontinence in women, was defectively designed and caused Margaret “Peggy” Engleman’s injuries. The jury awarded her $2.5 million in compensatory damages for pain, suffering and economic loss and then punished J&J and its Ethicon unit with $17.5 million in punitive damages.

Ms. Engleman received the TVT-Secur transvaginal mesh implant in 2007 to treat her stress urinary incontinence (SUI).  SUI is a common medical issue, especially in women who have given birth; the mesh is supposed to support the urethra and prevent leaks. However, within one month of receiving the TVT-Secur implant, it failed, and Ms. Engleman began experience urinary incontinence again. Within a few months the mesh began to erode inside her body, causing her to experience severe pain. Despite undergoing three separate surgeries under general anesthesia to remove the eroded mesh, her doctors have been unable to remove it all, and she still experiences pain and urinary dysfunction to this day.

“I’m happy I could be a voice for other women,” Engleman said in a statement released after the verdict. “It’s been a nightmare, and I feel justice was truly served today.”

This is the third eight figure award against Johnson & Johnson in a pelvic mesh trial in Philadelphia.  A Toms River, New Jersey woman was awarded a $13.5 million mesh verdict in 2016, and an Indiana woman was awarded $12.5 million in 2015.

If you believe you have a vaginal mesh lawsuit, Thornton Law Firm’s pelvic mesh team represents women in claims against the major mesh manufacturers including Boston Scientific, Caldera, Coloplast, Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, Inc., Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson, Mentor Worldwide, and Sofradim/Covidien. If you have suffered side effects from your mesh implant, including but not limited to bleeding, mesh erosion, constant pain, mesh contraction, urinary problems, additional surgeries, infection, vaginal tightening, painful sexual intercourse, inability to engage in sexual intercourse, or organ perforation, you may have a claim for damages. Please call attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at our toll-free number 888-341-1405, or tell us your story using our online contact form for a  no-cost, completely confidential evaluation of your legal rights. The time limits for filing all legal claims are short. Do not delay seeking legal advice.

FDA Announces Voluntary Recall of Defective EpiPens

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 and medical device litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details
 of your case.

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published on April 27, 2017

On March 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a manufacturer’s voluntary recall of a popular brand of auto-injector medical device – the Epipen – used to treat patients with severe allergies. This announcement came nearly two weeks after a similar recall was issued for the same devices in seven other countries. The recalls were a direct response to consumer complaints that the devices failed to operate as marketed.

Mylan Acknowledges Some EpiPen, EpiPen Jr Units May Have Defective Parts

Mylan NV sells the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr auto-injectors, which are actually manufactured by Pfizer. Both devices are designed to inject epinephrine–adrenaline–into patients who suffer from severe allergic reactions. When a patient goes into sudden anaphylactic shock, pressing the EpiPen or EpiPen Jr into the thigh is supposed to deliver an instant dose of epinephrine.

But according to news reports, Mylan admitted there have been at least two cases where the EpiPens failed to work. The company said the two affected patients “were able to use different EpiPens” and did not suffer any permanent damage. Nevertheless, Mylan issued a voluntary recall on March 20 for approximately 80,000 EpiPens sold in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland.

The March 31 notice extended that recall to the United States. The FDA said that at the present time, 13 specific lots of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr distributed between December 17, 2015, and July 1, 2016, were under recall. This includes devices with the following lot numbers:

  • 5GN767
  • 5GN773
  • 5GM31
  • 5GM639
  • 6GN215
  • 6GM082
  • 6GM072
  • 6GM081
  • 6GM088
  • 6GM199
  • 6GM091
  • 6GM198
  • 6GM087

Mylan claims the defective EpiPens “may contain a defective part” that prevents them from activating correctly. If that happens, the FDA warns there is a “life-threatening risk” of an improperly treated allergic reaction. Mylan is offering free replacements of any defective units. Customers can contact Mylan online or call 877-650-3494 for more information.

Have You Been Injured Due to a Defective Drug or Medical Device?

Even before these recalls, Mylan was already facing public scrutiny for its marketing of the EpiPen. Last year, the per-pen price rose more than 600 percent–from $47 to $284–and since the company only sold the EpiPen in pairs, many consumers were paying more than $600 to fill a prescription. Following a Congressional investigation, Mylan promised to “reimburse consumers for some of their out-of-pocket costs.”

Regardless of cost, drug manufacturers have a legal and moral obligation to produce safe, effective products. If you have been injured due to a defective EpiPen or any other medical device, it is important to speak with a Boston defective drug lawyer as soon as possible. Call Thornton Law Firm, LLP today at 888-341-1405 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, or tell us your story here and we’ll call you to discuss your legal options..

Fluoroquinolones Linked to Aortic Dissection and Aneurysms

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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published on March 20, 2017

Aortic aneurysms and dissections have been linked to popular prescription drugs Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox. These drugs are very strong antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. They are often prescribed to patients with common infections like urinary tract infections, bronchitis, and sinusitis. Recent large studies of fluoroquinolones have shown significantly increased risk of serious aortic injuries. New warnings approved by the FDA have changed the labeling of these drugs to make it clear “that fluoroquinolones should be reserved for these conditions only when there are no other options available due to potentially permanent, disabling side effects occurring together.”

What are Fluoroquinolones?

Fluoroquinolones are a class of strong antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections. More than 26 million Americans are prescribed a fluoroquinolone drug every year. On May 12, 2016 the FDA issued safety labeling changes to fluoroquinolone drugs  strongly discouraging the use of these antibiotics in uncomplicated infections. Finding the risks outweigh the benefits, the FDA recommended medical professionals avoid prescribing fluoroquinolones for sinusitis, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, and gynecological infections, unless there are absolutely no other treatment options.

Commonly prescribed fluoroquinolones are ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Cipro XR, Proquin XR); levofloxacin (Levaquin) and moxifloxacin (Avelox).

Aortic Dissection and Aneurysms

The aorta begins in the left ventricle of the heart and goes down into the abdomen, where it branches into two smaller arteries. Studies link fluoroquinolones to damage to the lining of the aorta. A tear in the aortic wall is called an aortic dissection. A weakness or a bulge where the aorta has become weak or thin is called an aortic aneurysm. Both conditions can lead to leaking or a burst aorta, both of  which can be fatal.

Studies Link Fluoroquinolones and Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections

A Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study published in 2013 found that use of fluoroquinolones was associated with a two-fold increased risk of developing aortic dissection or aneurysm within 60 days of exposure. The study authors advised: “[C]linicians should continue to be vigilant for the appearance of aortic aneurysm and dissection in high-risk patients treated with fluoroquinolones.” The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a subsequent study which found that in over 650,000 patients taking fluoroquinolones, the risk of aortic aneurysm was almost tripled. That study concluded that reducing fluoroquinolone prescriptions or prolonged courses of treatment might have prevented more than 200 aneurysms.

What can you do?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with aortic dissection or aneurysm after being prescribed Cipro, Levaquin, or Avelox, you may have a claim for damages. Contact the defective drug lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a free, confidential evaluation of your legal rights at 1-888-341-1405. Or tell us your story using our online contact form. Like all legal claims, defective drug claims are subject to short time limits to file. Do not delay seeking legal advice.

FDA Backs Xarelto Despite Flawed Clinical Trial

Thornton Law Firm is no longer accepting new Xarelto cases.

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published on February 1, 2017

Recently, issues were raised concerning the results of a clinical trial for the blood thinning drug Xarelto. It was discovered that a medical device used during the study was faulty and was later recalled. The effect this may have had on the study is especially concerning as more than 13 million prescriptions have been written for the drug nationwide.

Original Xarelto Clinical Trial

The results of the clinical trial in question were published in 2011. That study led to the approval of the drug’s use in patients with atrial fibrillation who were at risk of suffering a stroke. The study included over 14,000 patients and concluded that Xarelto and its predecessor Warfarin both prevented strokes. It also concluded that there was no major difference between the two medications in regards to the risk of major bleeding, although bleeding in the brain occurred less in the group which took Xarelto.

However, in 2014 a medical device used to test for blood clotting during the study was later recalled for giving inaccurate results, a problem that dated back to 2002.

Reviewing the Trial

Although Duke University’s Clinical Research Institute, which conducted the original trial, recently published a letter stating that researchers had reanalyzed the results and stood by their original conclusions, concerns still remain regarding the drug’s risks. For instance, one medical journal hypothesizes that the use of faulty equipment during the study may have led doctors to think the Warfarin levels in certain patients were lower than they actually were. As a result of this misleading data, some patients may have been given additional doses. According to the journal’s editor, this could explain why the older drug caused more bleeding than Xarelto in the trial.

Both the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration reviewed the results of the reanalyzed trial and concluded that the drug was safe. Still, multiple plaintiffs have come forward claiming that the drug’s manufacturer, Bayer, and its marketer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, failed to warn users of the risks of bleeding associated with Xarelto.

Contact Thornton Law Firm, LLP to Speak With a Dedicated Defective Drug Attorney

If you have experienced internal bleeding as a result of taking Xarelto, you may have a claim for damages. Please contact Thornton Law Firm, LLP at (888) 341-1405 to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you seek the compensation you deserve. All legal claims have short time limits, so do not delay seeking legal advice.

FDA Approves New Morcellator Device Despite Cancer Concerns

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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published January 17, 2017

In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a statement discouraging the use of power morcellators during procedures to remove uterine fibroids. As a result, many morcellator sellers ceased manufacturing the devices and their use has drastically declined. However, Olympus America Inc. recently launched a new bladeless morcellator that is meant to prevent the inadvertent spreading of cancerous cells. Despite these changes, the FDA required the company to include a warning on the device’s label explaining that the instrument has not been proven to reduce the risk of spreading cancer.

The Dangers of Morcellators

Morcellators are surgical devices used to break up and remove internal tissue. Basically, the instrument is made up of rotating blades that enter the abdomen through small incisions and then shred large masses of tissue for removal. These instruments allow for non-invasive procedures and so are primarily used for removing nonmalignant tumors, such as uterine fibroids or hysterectomies. Unfortunately, as doctors later discovered, when pieces of fibroids are inadvertently left behind they can migrate elsewhere in the body, which can cause serious and dangerous complications. For instance, fibroids can lead to the development of ectopic tissue implantation on abdominal organs. This, in turn, can cause obstructions, inflammation, and abnormal growths, some of which may require additional surgeries and procedures to remove.

Malignant fibroids also have the potential to spread cancer cells throughout the body when left behind in the abdominal cavity, which can be deadly for some patients. In fact, when the FDA announced the dangers of the morcellator in 2014, it stated that these devices could inadvertently spread cancer cells in as many as one out of 350 women.

Olympus America Inc. has stated that its new device will allow doctors to perform safe and minimally-invasive hysterectomies and fibroid removal. However, the evidence supporting these assertions is questionable, meaning that thousands of women may be in danger when undergoing future procedures.

How a Boston Defective Products Lawyer Can Help

Morcellators can have devastating consequences for patients and their families, so if you are a resident of Massachusetts and were recently diagnosed with cancer after undergoing a hysterectomy or standard fibroid removal procedure, please contact Thornton Law Firm, LLP by calling 888-341-1405 and a member of our dedicated legal team will help you set up an initial consultation with an experienced defective products attorney who can explain your legal options.

Invokana Cases Consolidated in MDL

Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in personal injury and pharmaceutical drug litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

The Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation has transferred all existing Invokana (canagliflozin) and Invokamet (canagliflozin/metformin) cases alleging ketoacidosis, kidney disease and other serious injuries filed in federal courts to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on December 7, 2016. If you have been injured by taking Invokana or Invokamet, there is still time to file a claim.

A total of 55 cases alleging injuries from these diabetes drugs were transferred to a consolidated docket known as an MDL before the Honorable Brian R. Martinotti. An MDL (stands for MultiDistrict Litigation) is created to efficiently handle similar complex cases. In an MDL, while the cases share common legal and factual issues, each case is still resolved individually.

Invokana and Invokamet are classified as sodium-glucose-cotransporter-2 drugs (a/k/a SGLT2 inhibitors).  SGLT2s work by  preventing the kidneys from reabsorbing blood sugar. This lets the sugar leave the body through the urine, thereby lowering blood glucose levels. SGLT2s are prescribed for Type 2 diabetes.

Invokana, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and marketed in the U.S. by J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, was the first SGLT2 approved by the FDA.  Invokana went on the market on March 29, 2013; Invokamet was not approved until August 8, 2014. Between March 2013 and October 2015, the FDA received reports of 101 cases of acute kidney injury, including kidney impairment or failure; kidney stones, dehydration; urinary tract infections, weight loss, hypotension (low blood pressure) and hypersensitivity.

In May 2015 the FDA warned that patients should be alert to the symptoms of too much acid in the blood (ketoacidosis), and seek medical attention immediately if “difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, and unusual fatigue or sleepiness”  is experienced while taking SGLT2s. The FDA had received 20 complaints from March 2013 to June 2014 of ketoacidosis, diabetic ketoacidosis, or ketosis in patients taking SGLT2s.

In June of 2016 the FDA strengthened the existing warning on Invokana and Invokamet to include information about acute kidney injury, adding recommendations to minimize the risk of such injury. This stronger warning also included the SGLT2s Farxiga and Xigduo XR.

However, in consolidating the Invokana and Invokamet cases in New Jersey, the Panel decided against consolidating any other SGLT2 drugs in the MDL. Instead, the court chose to consolidate only the canagliflozan drugs, finding:

“…the Invokana/Invokamet actions involve common questions of fact, and [] centralization of these cases will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation. The actions share factual questions arising from allegations that taking Invokana or Invokamet may result in patients suffering various injuries, including diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney damage. The actions thus implicate numerous common issues concerning the development, manufacture, testing, regulatory history, promotion, and labeling of the drugs.”

If you have taken Invokana, Invokamet, or another SGLT2 diabetes drug and have experienced side effects, you should call your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. If you have been diagnosed with ketoacidosis or any other serious side effect after taking Invokana, Invokamet, or any SGLT2, you may have a claim for damages. Call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at our toll free number 888-341-1405 or tell us your story here for a free, no obligation case evaluation.

Essure Permanent Birth Control

Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in personal injury and medical device litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published on December 12, 2016

Essure, Bayer’s permanent birth control device, was recently ordered to carry a black box warning by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning is the FDA’s highest level of regulation, meaning that the product may cause death or serious injury. In addition, all patients must now complete a Patient Decision Checklist before having the device implanted. This action by the FDA follows years of complaints by women who received the Essure implant and suffered a number of serious injuries which they attribute to the device.

What is Essure?

Essure is a permanent birth control method. It is a type of tubal sterilization that does not require a surgical incision or anesthesia. The Essure device consists of two spring-like metal (nickel and tungsten) coils that have plastic (polypropylene) fibers wound through them. The coils are implanted in a woman’s fallopian tubes, where the plastic irritates the tissue so that it forms scar tissue. The scar tissue prevents the woman from becoming pregnant.

Essure’s Manufacturing History

Essure was first introduced to the market by Conceptus, Inc., in 2002 after three years of clinical trials. Conceptus was purchased by Bayer AG on June 5, 2013 and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the German pharmaceutical company.

Problems with Essure implant

Early on women who were implanted with the device complained about having severe side effects after receiving Essure. Some of the injuries associated with the Essure implant include:

  • Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions to the device
  • Migraines
  • Autoimmune response, including fatigue, hair loss, rashes, swelling, itching, and weight gain
  • Chronic, severe pelvic pain
  • Expulsion of the device
  • Fetal death
  • Hysterectomy
  • Life-threatening ectopic pregnancy
  • Migration of the device or a device component in the abdominal or pelvic cavity
  • Perforation or tearing of pelvic organs, including fallopian tubes or uterus
  • Surgeries to remove the device and to repair internal organs

Pressure on FDA to Remove Essure from Market

The Essure Problems Facebook group was started in 2011 by a woman named Angie Firmalino, who wanted to be able to discuss her Essure implant injuries privately. That group now has more than 31,000 members. She is now the President of a non-profit, ASHES—Advocating Safety in Healthcare E-Sisters  part of whose mission is advocating for Essure victims. Between Essure’s introduction in 2002 and December 31, 2015, 9,900 women and doctors have filed complaints about Essure with the FDA. In addition, women who were part of the original Conceptus clinical trials have come forward to say that their data was misreported or changed by Conceptus.

On Sept. 24, 2015, a public meeting of the FDA’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel was held“to discuss the risks and benefits of Bayer HealthCare’s Essure System for permanent female sterilization.” Both medical professional and women who had received the Essure implant testified. In February 2016 the FDA ordered Bayer “to conduct a postmarket surveillance study to obtain more data about Essure’s benefits and risks”. Finally on November 5, 2016 the FDA ordered the black box warning added to the product packaging, warning of the risks of the Essure device.

What Can You Do?

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries you believe are related to the Essure birth control device, call Marilyn McGoldrick at Thornton Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. You can call us at 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a no-obligation evaluation of your legal rights. As with all legal claims, Essure lawsuits have short time limits. Seek legal advice as soon as possible as legal time limits are strictly enforced.

Stryker Issues New Hip Implant Recall

Stryker_Logo


Stryker LFIT V39 Femoral Head Recall

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Stryker Corporation has notified physicians and hospitals of an Urgent Medical Device Recall of its LFIT Anatomic Cobalt Chrome V39 femoral heads manufactured before 2011. Stryker received what it called a “higher than expected” number of reports from doctors of taper lock failure.

What is taper lock failure? The taper is the very narrow end of the femoral stem where it connects to the ball of the hip implant. When the taper lock – the connection between the stem and the ball – fails, the hip can become unstable and a number of complications can result. Because the Stryker LFit V39 femoral heads are made of a cobalt chromium alloy, the metal can corrode, releasing cobalt and chromium fragments into the tissue. The corrosion can also result in fractures and loosening of the implant.

Potential Taper Lock Failures Associated with Stryker LFIT V39 Femoral Heads

  • Disassociation of the femoral head from the hip stem. Literally, the hip implant comes apart.
  • Fractured hip stem trunnion
  • Excessive metallic debris
  • Metallosis
  • Insufficient ROM (range of motion)
  • Insufficient soft tissue tension
  • Noise (clicking, grinding, popping, clunking)
  • Loss of implant to bone fixation strength
  • Excessive wear debris
  • Implant construct with a shortened neck length

Patient Complications From Defective Stryker LFIT V39 Femoral Heads

If you have a defective Stryker LFit V39 femoral head as part of your hip implant, you may have experienced the following complications:

  • Adverse local tissue reaction
  • Broken bones around components
  • Dislocation
  • Inflammation
  • Joint instability
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Loss of mobility
  • Pain
  • Revision surgery necessary

Was Your Stryker Hip Implant Recalled?

Physicians began notifying patients of this recall in September 2016. If you don’t know the implant number, call your doctor’s office. They will have it.

Here are the specific models subject to the recall:
Catalog Number          Head          Diameter Offset
6260-9-236                  36mm                  +5
6260-9-239                 39mm                  +4
6260-9-244                 44mm                  +4
6260-9-339                 39mm                  +8
6260·9-439                 39mm                 +12
6260-9-344                 44mm                  +8
6260-9-444                 44mm                 +12

If you have received notification of this recall, you should consult with an attorney to make sure that your legal rights are properly protected.

What If You Have a Different Stryker Hip Implant?

This is not the first Stryker corporation hip implant component recall. Stryker previously recalled the ABG II and Rejuvenant hip replacements in July of 2012. Those were also metal-on-metal hip implants.

Do I Have a Case?

If you have a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, whether from Stryker Orthopaedics, or those manufactured by Biomet, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics, Wright Conserve, or Zimmer Holdings, you may be eligible to file a claim for money damages. You may be compensated for lost income, medical expenses for revision and replacement surgery, damages for pain and suffering, physical injuries, and any other losses you suffered as a result of your defective hip implant.  Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 for a consultation with a specialist in hip implant litigation. The consultation is free and confidential. We look forward to discussing your potential legal case with you.

J&J Ordered To Pay $1 Billion in Hip Implant Case

Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in personal injury and medical device litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

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.