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Johnson and Johnson has become a regular subject of our injury blogs. From talc-based baby powder causing cancer to vaginal mesh implants causing bleeding and loss of sexual function to anti-psychotics causing breast enlargement in male patients, Johnson and Johnson has been the subject of hundreds of lawsuits and been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in jury verdicts. To be fair, many of the allegedly defective products were made by J&J subsidiaries, but the most damning accusations claim J&J knew of the danger to consumers and sold the products anyway.
The same can be said for Johnson and Johnson's Pinnacle hip implants designed and manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedic. Johnson and Johnson faces some 9,700 lawsuits nationwide regarding the implants and has just been ordered to pay out its third jury award, this one for $247 million.
Not Too Hip
The latest verdict involved six New York residents who received the implants in order to treat joint failure caused by osteoarthritis. J&J marketed DePuy's metal-on-metal implants as a longer lasting alternative to similar ceramic or plastic implants. According to the lawsuit, that was far from the case. Instead, the plaintiffs experienced tissue death, bone erosion, and other injuries.
They sued J&J and DePuy, claiming Pinnacle implants were defectively designed and the companies failed to adequately warn consumers regarding the health risks involved. (The Pinnacle was discontinued in 2013 after the FDA tightened restrictions on hip implants.) The Dallas, Texas jury agreed, but it's far from certain the plaintiffs will actually receive the jury award.
Appealed Jury Awards
J&J released a statement saying it would appeal the verdict, and a DePuy spokesperson told Reuters the company is still "committed to the long-term defense of the allegations in these lawsuits." The companies have had some success in getting large jury awards reduced. A $500 million jury award in March 2016 was later cut to $150 million, and another $1 billion verdict that was slashed to $543 million.
This was the fourth of 9,000 test trials in a Dallas federal court, where both sides are hoping the outcomes will lead to settlements on the remaining claims, rather than more trials.
Suing for hip implant injuries can be complicated. If you're considering a medical implant lawsuit, talk to an experienced medical device attorney in your area.