As reported by Law360 (subscription), U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade has reduced a $496 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics in five combined Pinnacle implant hip injury bellwether trials to keep the amount in line with the Texas punitive damages cap. Attorneys in the case indicate the new overall amount assessed against DePuy for its allegedly defective and dangerous Pinnacle hip implants will be closer to $150 million. A jury in the consolidated trial in Dallas had found the companies liable for serious health problems, including bone erosion and metal poisoning, that plaintiffs claimed were directly related to the metal-on-metal hip implants. Judge Kinkeade lowered the $360 million punitive damages award by $350 million in the face of Texas’ statutory $10 million limit on punitive damages.
J&J and DePuy initiated a separate effort to stop further bellwether MDL trials relating to the approximately 8,000 additional Pinnacle hip injury cases, but Judge Kinkeade refused. The companies had previously agreed on the bellwether process, and “can’t grind the MDL to a halt now just because it lost one of the trials,” Judge Kinkeade said. “Only after losing the second bellwether trial did defendants object to the process,” the Judge continued. “There are more than 8,000 pending cases in this MDL; the court cannot grant a stay every time plaintiffs win a trial.” Judge Kinkeade further noted that pausing the claims would be unfair to everyone involved. The average plaintiff in the case is 68 years old this year, he said.
Contact a DePuy Pinnacle Hip Injury Attorney
Lieff Cabraser represents patients across America in personal injury lawsuits against DePuy, Johnson & Johnson, and other hip implant manufacturers over allegations of defective and dangerous prosthetic products. Over the last 20 years, Lieff Cabraser has assisted thousands of patients recover millions in judgments and settlements in medical device injury cases. If you have been injured by a Depuy Pinnacle hip implant, or any similar hip device, our injury attorneys encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation review of your case.