Depuy Pinnacle Hip Litigation – Update

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.

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.

J&J DePuy Ordered To Pay $502 Million for Pinnacle Hips

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.

DePuy ASR: First Bellwether Trial Postponed For Two Weeks

By Marilyn T. McGoldrick, Esq.

Posted on Sep 9, 2013

The first DePuy ASR bellwether trial over Johnson & Johnson DePuy Unit’s hip implants, scheduled to begin today, September 9th in the consolidated federal Multi-District Litigation, has been adjourned for two weeks.

The Court must address pre-trial matters that must be resolved before the trial can start. The judge must rule on outstanding issues ranging from choice of law, expert witness testimony and exhibits to be offered at trial. Jury selection is now scheduled to begin the week of September 23, 2013.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective hip implant, contact the hip implant lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can tell us your story online or call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 888-341-1405 for a confidential evaluation of your legal case. Time limits for filing claims are short, so seek legal advice without delay.

Depuy Hip Recipients Prepare For More Trials In Hip Implant Litigation

By Marilyn T. McGoldrick, Esq.

Posted on Sep 3, 2013 

The first bellwether trial in the federal court Multi-District Litigation over Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Unit’s metal hip implants is scheduled to begin on Monday, September 9, 2013. The plaintiff is Ann McCracken, a woman from Rochester, New York who underwent a DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip System replacement in 2009. She , in 2011. While this is the first trial of the federal MDL cases, 2 other cases have already been tried to verdict in the state courts and other cases have trial dates scheduled for later this fall. These other cases include the New Jersey Multi-County Litigation (MCL) Bergen County Superior Court, bellwether case set for trial on October 21, 2013; the San Francisco Superior Court, coordinated California proceedings, bellwether case set for trial in October of 2013, and the case scheduled for trial on November 8 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

J&J’s DePuy unit began manufacturing the metal-on-metal hip implants – the ASR XL Acetabular System, and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System – less than a decade ago. The ASR XL Acetabular System was submitted to the FDA for so-called 501(k) approval, meaning that J&J claimed that the product was substantially similar to products already on the market so did not require clinical trials before being sold to the public. [The ASR Hip Resurfacing System was submitted to the FDA in 2007, but that application was withdrawn and it was never sold in the U.S. However, Americans who went abroad for a hip resurfacing procedure could have gotten an ASR Hip Resurfacing System, as it was sold in other countries.]

Unfortunately, for the 93,000 people in the United States who did receive an ASR metal-on-metal hip implant, the change from the older hip implant sold by DePuy was not a minor change but a major change and, ultimately, a major defect which render the devices dangerously unsafe. J&J recalled the ASR hip implants in 2010, but at that point the damage was already done.

At the time of the recall, DePuy cited revision rates double what was expected. Unfortunately, more recent studies in the United Kingdom have shown a failure rate as high as 49%, an astonishingly high failure rate for a device that was meant to be better than the old conventional hip replacements that failed 1% to 2% of the time.

The ASR was recalled on August 24, 2010. If you received one of these hip implants and have not seen a doctor recently, we urge you to see your doctor and have your hip implant evaluated. You should ask the doctor to perform a metal ion test to see if you have elevated levels of chromium or cobalt in your blood.

Call the Boston hip implant lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. Ask for attorney Marilyn McGoldrick when you call 888-341-1405 and we will put our hip implant legal team to work for you.

THORNTON LAW FIRM: 40 Years Of Service

 

By: Patricia M. Flannery, Esq.

Posted on January 22, 2013

Over the course of four decades of representation of plaintiffs, Thornton Law Firm has grown into the largest plaintiff-only law firm in New England. Always at the leading edge of litigation, Thornton Law Firm has a proven track record of unswerving dedication to clients and an intense focus on working our hardest for you.

We have successfully represented plaintiffs in all manner of cases: personal injury, asbestos and mesothelioma, products liability, toxic torts, birth defects, pharmaceutical and medical devices, workers’ compensation, wage and hour, and false claims act whistleblower cases. Each case, each claim, presents a different story for us to tell on behalf of our clients. After forty years, this wonderful technology exists so that we can share our own stories with you. The Thornton Law Firm blog is dedicated to sharing the latest firm news, legal stories, and items of interest to our clients and followers. With this, our first post, we would like to invite you to read, comment, and share our future posts. As always, if you have any questions about your legal rights, contact Thornton Law Firm for a free consultation by calling 888-491-9726 or tell us your story using our online contact form.

Future blog posts will include:

  • The latest mesothelioma and asbestos litigation news;
  • Developments in our semiconductor manufacturing / birth defect cases;
  • The potential environmental effects resulting from fracking in Pennsylvania and Colorado;
  • What you should know about DePuy and other hip implants;
  • The status of the New England Compounding Company cases;

If there are subjects that interest you in these blogs, or if you have an idea for a future Thornton Law Firm blog post, please feel free to contact us and share your thoughts.

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