Recently, a jury made a dramatic ruling in favor of five individual plaintiffs after a long consolidated trial about the defective Pinnacle Hip Implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson have been awarded $502 million. In this case, DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson was found liable for hiding flaws in its Pinnacle line of metal on metal artificial hips that caused the devices to fail prematurely and left them facing revision surgeries and pain. The jury found that the hips sold by J&J’s DePuy unit under the Pinnacle brand name were defective and company officials knew about the flaws but failed to warn patients and doctors of the risks.
The jury found that DePuy took a number of short cuts getting the Pinnacle hip implants on the market, in part due to the 510(k) approval process, which only requires a device be substantially equivalent to devices already in use. The company did not seek premarket approval, and so avoided the Food and Drug Administration’s requirement to determine if a device is safe or effective. There were no Pinnacle hip clinical trials to see if it even worked, or if it was safe to use.
The Food and Drug Administration released new guidance for metal-on-metal hip replacements in January 2013, indicating that doctors should only use the design if other artificial hip implants are not appropriate. The agency also determined that future metal-on-metal hip designs will be required to undergo extensive human clinical trials before they will be approved.
Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary continues to face thousands of lawsuits over their defective metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip replacement. Since March 15th of 2016, there has been more than eight thousand and three hundred federal product liability lawsuits filed by people who have experienced severe and serious problems with the artificial hip implant. Beginning in 2011,all federal DePuy Pinnacle cases has been consolidated and centralized in the U.S. District Court for Multidistrict Litigation.
All of these lawsuits are because people allege that the DePuy Pinnacle hip has an unreasonably dangerous and defective design, which was not thoroughly studied and that inadequate warnings were provided about the risk that the device may loosen and fail. Microscopic metal particles can go into other parts of the body and can grind against each other while a person is walking, standing or doing other normal daily activities. This can cause pain, illnesses and other serious side effects such as the need for more surgery to remove or correct the problem.
The jury awarded the plaintiffs one hundred and forty-two million in actual damages and three hundred and sixty million in punitive damages to a group of five patients who had hip implants that broke and required surgery to be removed.
If you or someone you care about has received one of these Depuy Pinnacle hip implants and has experienced serious pain, problems, or needed additional surgical procedures to fix the problem, then you should contact one of our caring and experienced Tennessee Depuy hip implant lawyers with the Higgins Firm. We will review your case and work with you to see to it that you are compensated for what you and your family have been through.
Please contact us today online or by calling 800.705.2121 to discuss your legal options.