Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant device, has asked a federal judge to issue an order granting new trials after juries returned a total of $1 billion in judgments to six total plaintiffs. Each of these plaintiffs sued the medical device maker, alleging that the Pinnacle hip implant device failed to include proper warnings about its potential side effects and that it was designed in an unreasonably defective manner. These plaintiffs alleged specifically that the metal-on-metal aspect of the device resulted in dangerous side effects, including metallosis, a condition in which metal particles escape into the bloodstream.
In December 2016, a jury in Dallas concluded that the metal-on-metal hip implant devices were designed in a defective manner and failed to include warnings about their dangers. The Dallas jury awarded the six plaintiffs $32 million in compensatory damages and over $1 billion in punitive damages. Compensatory damages are a type of damages designed to compensate a plaintiff for expenses associated with his or her injuries that stem from the accident. Common examples include medical expenses and lost wages.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, are a separate category of damages that are designed to punish a defendant for engaging in particularly egregious, wanton, and willful conduct while also serving to deter other similarly situated individuals from engaging in similarly reprehensible behavior.
The judge presiding over the action reduced the verdict nearly in half, from $1.009 billion to $510,509,667 for all six plaintiffs. In an earlier trial involving the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant device, the same judge also reduced the jury’s verdict of $500 million. Now, the six plaintiffs are appealing the judge’s verdict reduction. At the same time, DePuy is asking the judge to grant new and separate trials.
DePuy has also filed motions requesting that the jury verdict be overturned, alleging that “inflammatory and inadmissible evidence concerning matters that were wholly irrelevant to the core liability issues” in the cases skewed the outcomes. The defendant argues that had the jury not been allowed to consider this allegedly unfair and prejudicial evidence, they would not have returned a verdict of over $1 billion for the plaintiffs.
If you have been injured as a result of a dangerous medical device, you can bring a strict product liability claim against the device’s manufacturer. To prevail, the plaintiff must show that the device was designed in an unreasonably dangerous manner, that the device in question suffered from a manufacturing defect, or that the device lacked appropriate warnings about potential side effects.
At Moll Law Group, our DePuy attorneys have handled numerous dangerous medical device cases on behalf of plaintiffs and their families throughout the United States, including in Illinois, Florida, Texas, and California. We can assist you with investigating your claim, gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and retaining expert witnesses. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about your legal options and whether we may be able to assist you. Contact us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment.