March 29, 2016 — Five people who were seriously injured by a metal-on-metal hip replacement made by DePuy Orthopedics have been awarded $498 million by a federal jury in Dallas, Texas.
It is the second so-called “bellwether” trial after the first ended in a unanimous defense verdict back in October 2014. About 8,200 similar lawsuits have been centralized in the federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2244) under U.S. District Judge James Kinkeade.
All of the plaintiffs say the Pinnacle hip replacement with a cobalt-chromium “Ultamet” liner creates a defective metal-on-metal implant. When the metal parts grind together, they shed toxic debris that causes metallosis, tissue inflammation, bone erosion, chronic pain, and premature failure of the implant.
After a two-month trial, the jury took one week to find defendants liable for selling a defective medical device and failing to warn about potential risks. The jury awarded $140 million in compensatory damages for injury, medical expenses, and more. They also awarded $360 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopedics.
However, the punitive damages will likely be slashed to as little as $10 million under state law in Texas, lawyers for defendants told Mass Device. Defendants’ counsel also plans on “immediately” appealing the verdict.
Plaintiffs’ counsel unsuccessfully argued that state law capping punitive damages should not apply due to an exception for “commercial bribery.” They claimed one of the surgeons was a highly-paid consultant of DePuy who was swayed into implanting the Pinnacle Ultamet.
Do I have a Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Pinnacle Ultamet induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a hip replacement, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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