News & Resources

December 23, 2016. Category: Unsafe Medical Devices

Johnson &Johnson Slammed With $1B verdict in All-Metal Hip Case

For most people, the prospect of undergoing any kind of joint replacement surgery can be scary.  Having a competent surgeon is extremely important for a successful surgical outcome, but equally as important is that the artificial joint replacement device being implanted is safe, effective, and reliable.  

Johnson & Johnson is a household name, and the company and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics has been involved in manufacturing and selling artificial hip joint replacement devices for years. However, in recent years, tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed around the country over alleged defects with some of the company's metal-on-metal hip devices.

Just this month, a jury in Texas slammed Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics with a record $1 billion verdict.  The lawsuit involved six plaintiffs who were seriously injured after their Pinnacle hips (made by J&J and DePuy) failed and had to be removed.  The Dallas jury concluded that DePuy officials knew the Pinnacle hip devices were defective, yet did not warn doctors or their patients. The plaintiffs argued that the defective hips leached cobalt and chromium into their bloodstreams, which led to device failure and required complex surgical removal. The plaintiffs also alleged that J&J officials rushed through device testing and ignored the available evidence that cautioned against using metal-on-metal prosthetics. Now, the company must pay more than $30 million in actual damages to each of the six plaintiffs and more than $1 billion in punitive damages.

A Wake-Up Call for J&J

Unfortunately for Johnson & Johnson, these claims are not isolated incidents. Out of the seven largest product-defect verdicts this year, six of them were against Johnson & Johnson units. Additionally, J&J still faces almost 9,000 lawsuits over Pinnacle hip failures across the country. With this most recent verdict, it seems in everyone’s best interest for Johnson & Johnson to evaluate and settle these cases as quickly as possible.  In 2013, J&J and DePuy announced a $4 billion settlement program to resolve thousands of lawsuits involving persons who were seriously injured by their defective ASR hip prosthesis that was recalled in 2010.

As Tampa hip replacement lawyers, our team has experience with metal-on-metal hip replacement cases. You deserve only the safest medical devices inside of your body. So, having your life negatively impacted by a defective hip implant is simply unacceptable.  If you or a loved one suffered serious complications following total hip replacement surgery, feel free to contact us for a free legal consultation.  


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