A two-month trial in Dallas brought back a huge verdict against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer the Pinnacle hip replacement, which is a metal-on-metal hip replacement system. The jury verdict came back today after only one day of deliberations. The jury verdict awarded $497.6 million in damages to five plaintiffs whose cases were combined as part of a multidistrict litigation. The figure included $360 million in punitive damages against DePuy.
The case is considered to be a bellwether case, meaning the outcome of the case indicates how the courts and juries may see future hip replacement cases. The result of the case was posted on law news site Law360 today.
The device targeted in this lawsuit is the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, which is made by DePuy, a division of Johnson & Johnson. One of the key components of the Pinnacle hip replacement is a cobalt and chromium liner in the cup part – which was also a key part of the problem with the device.
Metal-on-metal hip replacements were marketed as a permanent solution for those who needed a hip replacement. The metal-on-metal pieces were marketed as more durable. However, patients with these implants reported pain at the site of the hip replacement, and some also experience metallosis, a condition in which there is too much metal in the blood. This is caused by the metal parts wearing against each other and releasing tiny particles of metal into the blood stream. Many patients had to have multiple surgeries to replace the original hip replacement or fix issues with it. With such adverse side effects becoming widely reported, the manufacturers of most metal-on-metal hip replacements recalled the devices.
In these cases, the patients experienced various problems, including inflamed tissues around the hip replacement, pain and metallosis. One plaintiff argued that DePuy continued to market the devices, knowing that there were problems with the hip replacements, and instead, should have pulled the devices from the market sooner.
There are thousands of similar cases making their way through the courts. Our firm, English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP, is representing patients who have had issues with hip replacements and other medical devices. If you or someone you love has had a metal-on-metal hip replacement, you may be eligible for damages. But don’t wait. There are statutes of limitations on such cases. The sooner we hear from you on your hip replacement or medical device case, the more we may be able to help. Contact us at (270) 781-6500.