DALLAS – A federal court jury in Texas returned a $247 million verdict on behalf of six people who suffered serious medical complications caused by the defective metal-on-metal hip implants made by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. The one-man, seven-woman jury deliberated for 14 hours before reaching its verdict, which includes more than $78 million in compensatory damages for the six plaintiffs and more than $168 million in punitive damages assessed against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy. The verdict, delivered November 16, 2017, follows claims filed by New York residents Ramon Alicea, Uriel Barzel, Karen Kirschner, Hazel Miura, Michael Stevens, and Eugene Stevens who received DePuy’s Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System hip implant. The plaintiffs alleged that the devices had unreasonably high failure rates resulting in severe pain and inflammation, bone erosion, tissue loss and other problems. The victims further claimed that DePuy officials knew about the dangers of the Pinnacle hip implants but failed to warn doctors or patients.
We thank this jury for sending a very strong message about the responsibility the defendants have to take care of their consumers, said lead attorney Mark Lanier of The Lanier Law Firm in Houston. Unfortunately, it took the defendants putting the plaintiffs through burdensome litigation before justice could be served. The companies should have done the right thing when these serious medical concerns became known many years ago. The trial was the fourth bellwether in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) consolidating more than 9,000 similar lawsuits nationwide. Bellwether trials are set to establish evidence and evaluate witness testimony that is representative of the issues involved in mass litigation. Two previous trials involving plaintiffs from California and Texas resulted in verdicts of $502 million and $1.04 billion.
The case, presided over by U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas, is In re: DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, No. 3:11-md-02244.
With offices in Houston, New York and Los Angeles, The Lanier Law Firm is committed to addressing client concerns with effective and innovative solutions in courtrooms across the country. The firm is composed of outstanding trial attorneys with decades of experience handling cases involving pharmaceutical liability, asbestos exposure, commercial litigation, product liability, maritime law, and sports and entertainment law. Visit http://www.lanierlawfirm.com.
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