In a recent Texas hearing, healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay an estimated $500 million to people who were hurt by the company’s Pinnacle hip implants.
Pinnacle hip implants are faulty because they regularly fall apart more often than anticipated, which can lead to severe injuries such as tissue death, high concentrations of metal in the blood and erosion of bone.
Johnson & Johnson, and their DePuy group, assert that their product was marketed in a responsible manner.
The trial took two months and jurors deliberated for a week before holding Johnson & Johnson liable for their defective design. According to the jury, the company did not inform the public of risks associated with the metal-on-metal hip implants.
Therefore, the jury awarded $360 million in punitive damages and $140 million in compensatory damages to five plaintiffs. A Johnson & Johnson representative stated that the company will appeal the decision. Appellate courts typically slash large personal injury awards. In Texas, there is also a limit to the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded.
A lawyer for Johnson & Johnson said he thought the verdict could be decreased to $10 million. However, the award reflects the belief that Johnson & Johnson needs to be held accountable for injuring unsuspecting people.
In early trials, verdicts are not binding for remaining litigation, but they assist in determining remaining claim values. So far, more than 8,000 lawsuits related to Pinnacle implants have been filed in Texas federal courts.
In 2013, approximately $2.5 billion in settlements were paid out for 7,000 lawsuits filed over another Johnson & Johnson hip device called the ASR.
For Johnson & Johnson, this is the second sizeable verdict in a two months. The company was ordered to compensate a family who lost their loved one due to ovarian cancer associated with Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder. More than $70 million in damages was awarded in that case.
If you have been hurt by a defective product produced by a company like Johnson & Johnson, find out your legal options by calling Simien & Simien right now. Our defective product lawyers can help you fight for justice.