After a two-month trial and a one-week period of jury deliberations, the jury in a case against medical device and home consumer goods company Johnson & Johnson has returned a $500 million verdict in the plaintiffs’ favor. Johnson & Johnson manufactured and marketed the DePuy hip implant product, consisting of a metal-on-metal device.
There are over 8,000 additional lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson regarding the DePuy hip implant device. The lawsuits have been consolidated in a Multi-District Litigation proceeding. This mechanism is similar to a class action in that it seeks to streamline the judicial process, but differs because each claimant receives an independent assessment of his or her particular claim.
Shortly after hitting the market, patients who received the DePuy device reported experiencing severe problems, including a tendency of the device to fail much more quickly than the company stated it would. The manufacturer advertised the hip implant device as being safe, durable, long-lasting, ideally suited for young patients, and ideal for individuals who lead an active lifestyle.
Also, patients began suffering terrible symptoms associated with a disease called metallosis which arises when metal fragments enter the blood stream. The metal fragments were the result of repeated friction between the metal components of the hip implant device.
To recover compensation in a medical device case, the plaintiff must show that the device was designed in an unreasonably dangerous manner or that the unit the plaintiff received suffered from a defect during the manufacturing process that rendered the product unreasonably dangerous. A manufacturer’s failure to include adequate warnings and instructions regarding the device can also serve as a basis for recovery in a product liability dispute.
The verdict includes $140 million for the plaintiffs’ compensatory damages, which reflects costs directly associated with the injury like medical bills, lost wages, and future medical care. The jury also awarded $360 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson. This category of damages is designed to punish a defendant who is proven to have acted with a conscious disregard for the safety of others or with recklessness. There were five plaintiffs in this lawsuit, which means each plaintiff is awarded a sum of $100 million in damages.
This lawsuit is significant for DePuy hip replacement recipients because it constitutes only the second lawsuit to move forward against Johnson & Johnson. In 2014, a similar lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson resulted in a judgment for the defense.
In 2013, Johnson & Johnson stopped selling its similar Pinnacle model metal-on-metal hip implant device and paid more than $2.5 billion in a settlement action involving roughly 7,000 claims that the Pinnacle device was defective.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries as the result of a defective medical device, you may be entitled to compensation. The seasoned and professional product liability lawyers at Moll Law Group have assisted countless injury victims across the country with seeking the compensation they deserve, including in Texas, New York, California, and our headquarters in Chicago. We understand how daunting and painful this situation can be for you and your family and will provide you with the dedicated and compassionate legal counsel that you deserve. Call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.