DePuy Pinnacle metal on metal hip Texas trial update. A federal jury in Dallas recently ordered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary unit to pay more than $1 billion to six plaintiffs who claimed that they were injured by their line of Pinnacle metal on metal hip implants.
The jurors found that the Pinnacle hip implants were defectively designed and that the companies failed to warn patients about the risks of serious complications including metallosis (metal poisoning) and the early failure of these devices.
DePuy Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip 9,000 Federal Lawsuits and counting
J&J which is exposed to 9,000 federal lawsuits consolidated in the Northern District of Texas over the faulty hip implants, denies any wrong doing in the development and marketing and was committed to defending itself and DePuy over the Pinnacle devices.
All of the complaints raise similar allegations, claiming that the artificial metal hip was defectively designed, causes the release of metallic debris and prematurely fail, resulting in the need for risky revision surgery to have the hip implant removed or replaced.
J&J stopped selling the devices in 2013 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration toughened artificial-hip regulations.
Six Plaintiffs $1 Billion Verdict
The six plaintiffs are California residents who experienced muscular tissue death, bone erosion and metallosis (release of chromium and cobalt) injuries, that they blamed on serious design flaws.
The plaintiffs also claimed that the companies touted that their devices lasted longer than hip implants made from ceramic or plastic materials.
$1 Billion Verdict Reduced
According to Bloomberg, J&J won a ruling slashing the $1.04 billion jury award over its Pinnacle artificial hips trial. U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade left the jury’s finding that J&J and its DePuy unit failed to properly warn doctors and patients about the artificial hips’ flaws, but found the panel’s punitive-damage awards to six patients were excessive and should be reduced
According to the judge, “Constitutional considerations limit the amount a plaintiff may recover in punitive damages.”
The ruling wipes out about $500 million in punishment damages against J&J and DePuy over the company’s defective hip implants.
DePuy Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip Verdicts
In the first trial in October 2014, J&J won after a jury rejected a Montana woman’s claims that the devices were defective and gave her metal poisoning.
In the second trial in March 2016, a Dallas jury ordered J&J to pay $502 million to a group of five patients who accused the company of hiding defects in the hips.
U.S. District Judge Edward Kinkeade, reduced that $500 million verdict to $151 million, noting a Texas state law that limits punitive damages awards.
The U.S. Supreme Court has said such bad-conduct awards must be proportional to compensatory damage verdicts and has limited punitive verdicts to 10 times a plaintiff’s actual damages.
The plaintiffs and cases are Marvin Andrews (Cause No. 3:15-cv-03484-K), Kathleen Davis (Cause No. 3:15-cv-01767-K), Rosa Metzler (Cause No. 3:12-cv-02066-K), Judith Rodriguez (Cause No. 3:13-cv-3938-K), Lisa Standerfer (Cause No. 3:14-cv-01730-K) and Michael Weiser (Cause No. 3:13-cv-03631-K).
Not the first time at the Hip Rodeo for J&J
J&J and DePuy also paid $2.5 billion in 2014 to settle more than 7,000 lawsuits over its ASR metal-on-metal hip devices. The ASR devices were recalled in 2010 due to high failure rates.