Explaining the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Injury Lawsuits
Lawsuits relating to defective metal-on-metal hip lawsuits have been filed for eight years or so but this major mass tort litigation is continuing. A new set of trials related to DePuy Pinnacle hip injury lawsuits are set to begin in 2019.
This is a complicated set of legal proceedings stalled by the efforts of the giant pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson which wants to delay more multi-million dollar verdicts against it. In one case, a jury awarded $1 billion against J&J, although a judge later reduced this award to $543 million. Most cases to date have been decided in favor of the injured parties.
On February 5, a motion was filed with the U.S. District Court. Lawyers representing the injured want the court to begin an “orderly and efficient staggered remand process,” whereby plaintiffs and the defense would select 10 cases each to be heard in New York, California, and Texas, for a total of 60 cases being set for trial beginning in 2019.
Given all the legal moves in the DePuy Pinnacle hip injury lawsuits, it’s easy to lose sight of the horrific injuries failed metal-on-metal hips caused to patients. DePuyOrthopaedics is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. It has been named in more than 9,500 hip replacement lawsuits nationwide.
Some of the serious medical conditions related to DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hips include:
- Metallosis, a serious condition linked to bone and tissue death;
- Osteolysis – the loss of bone around the implant;
- Severe pain and swelling in the patient:
- Failure of the metal-on-metal artificial hips leading to pain, discomfort and further surgery. A second surgery is called a revision surgery. There may be inherent complications in this procedure.
- The formation of pseudotumors formation, a soft tissue mass.
The notion of dangerous levels of metal seeping into our bodies because of metal-on-metal hips is a truly terrifying one. Plaintiffs claim the metal-on-metal design contained in the Ultamet liner configuration can result in dangerous amounts of toxic metal debris being released into the joint surround the hip, and into the bloodstream.
In 2013, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration issued a warning. It said metal-on-metal hip replacements are associated with higher rates of failure at an early stage compared to those constructed from other materials
The Results of the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Injury Lawsuits To Date
So far, litigation resulted to the Pinnacle hip device led to four bellwether trials related to the metal-on-metal implants. A trial in October 2014 resulted in a verdict for DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. However, this was the only trial favorable to the drug company.
At a second trial, the plaintiffs were awarded a verdict of $500 million in March 2016. A judge reduced the award to $151 million, based on a law in Texas that limits punitive damages.
The third bellwether in December 2016 was an even bigger setback to J&J. It resulted in a massive billion dollar verdict. Six Pinnacle recipients from California were awarded more than $1 billion. A staggering 90 percent of the verdict was punitive. It sent a stark message to the defendants. Although unlike Texas, California does not have punitive damages limit, the judge reduced the award to $543 million. A recent US Supreme Court ruling had limited excessive punitive damages.
In the most recent case heard at court, the plaintiff was awarded $247 million in November 2017.
Johnson & Johnson Faces Multiple Lawsuits
J&J is doing everything in its power to delay further verdicts. Last year, we noted no fewer than 17 Johnson & Johnson products are the subject of mass tort lawsuits. They include the blood thinner Xarelto, Baby Powder, which is linked to ovarian cancer and transvaginal mesh.
It’s alarming that so many products made by J&J have caused injury, pain and even death to patients. However, big pharma continues to pump out its products and plug them on the mass media to make even bigger profits.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to a metal-on-metal hip replacement, you may be able to join one of the DePuy Pinnacle hip injury lawsuits. Please contact our Virginia defective medical device lawyers at (757) 455-0077.