Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopaedics Found Guilty in Defective Pinnacle Hip Implants Lawsuit – Ordered to Pay $1 Billion

December 6, 2016 – A Dallas jury has sided with six plaintiffs who blamed Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics for serious medical complications and necessary revision surgeries due to defective Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants manufactured by the companies. In a massive combined verdict of more than $1 billion, it includes more than $30 million in damages for the victims and $1 billion in punitive damages.

“Once again, a jury has listened to the testimony of both sides, and returned a verdict affirming what we’ve known all along: a responsible company would settle these cases and take care of their injured consumers, rather than forcing them through expensive and vexatious litigation just to delay justice,” said plaintiff attorney Mark Lanier. “This jury spoke loud and clear, and I hope J&J will finally listen.”
Nationwide, thousands of similar lawsuits have been filed against the company that have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The verdict is the third bellwether trial, meaning it represents all of the issues in a mass tort case. In a March 2016 trial, a Dallas jury also sided with group of five plaintiffs, awarding more than $500 million for similar injuries.

The controversy surrounding the Pinnacle hip implant is its metal-on-metal design which allegedly causes the ball head and socket to rub together, causing corrosion and bone and tissue erosion. Other, safer implants use a ceramic or polyethylene socket design.

The jury heard testimony which told of aggressive marketing tactics employed by Johnson & Johnson and DePuy which included kickbacks to surgeons if they used the Pinnacle implant over safer alternatives.

A fourth bellwether trial including 10 plaintiffs will be held in Dallas in September, 2017.

DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL 3:11-md-0244