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$500M Pinnacle Hip Implant Verdict Slashed to $150M

$500M Pinnacle Hip Implant Verdict Slashed to $150M

July 7, 2016 — An eye-popping $500 million jury verdict in favor of five people who were injured by a metal-on-metal hip implant has been slashed to just $150 million under Texas state law capping punitive damages.

MassDevice reports that U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade in the Northern District of Texas cut the $360 million punitive damage award to just $10 million. Another $140 million in compensatory damages was left intact.

In March 2016, after a two-month trial, a jury in Texas found that the Pinnacle hip implant with the Ultamet metal liner was defective. They asid the manufacturer, DePuy Orthopedics, failed to warn about risks.

Judge Kinkeade refused to give DePuy a new trial. The company argued for a do-over, insisting the jury was swayed by “irrelevant and highly inflammatory evidence.” However, Judge Kinkeade said DePuy knew this evidence could be introduced if they used certain defenses.

Judge Kinkeade also refused to delay another trial scheduled for September 6 to give the company time to appeal. It is the third “bellwether” trial in the Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2244), where over 8,400 Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits are pending. He wrote:

“This MDL has already been pending for 5 years. The representative plaintiffs in the consolidated bellwether trial this year averaged 68 years old. The court believes that a stay would unduly prejudice plaintiffs and delay resolution of this matter to the detriment of all parties.”

The lawsuit is In re: DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 3:11-md-02244.

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