DALLAS – A federal jury in Dallas has awarded a significant verdict to five people who suffered a variety of debilitating physical problems after receiving metal-on-metal hip implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., a subsidiary of New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).
The verdict delivered today before Judge Ed Kinkeade of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas follows claims filed by Margaret Aoki, Jay Christopher, Donald Greer, Richard Klusmann and Robert Peterson, all Texas residents who received DePuy’s Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System hip implant. All five 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’s design was defective; the company failed to give adequate warnings; and Johnson & Johnson aided and abetted in misrepresentations that rose to the level of fraud.
The five cases were tried in one proceeding by attorneys Mark Lanier of the Lanier Law Firm in Houston and Ernest Cannon of Stephenville. Also working on the plaintiffs’ team were Richard Arsenault of Alexandria, Louisiana’s Neblett, Beard & Arsenault; Jayne Conroy of New York’s Simmons Hanly Conroy and dozens of others.
The jury’s award includes punitive damages. The cases are Aoki v. Johnson & Johnson Services, et al., No. 3:13-cv-01071; Christopher, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Services Inc., et al., No. 3:14-cv-01994; Greer v. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., et al., No. 3:12-cv-1672; Klusmann, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., et al., No. 3:11-cv-02800; and Peterson, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Services Inc., et al., No. 3:11-cv-01941.
“Today’s verdict is the result of years of hard work by my clients and every member of their legal teams, and almost three months of trial before one of the hardest-working juries I’ve seen during my years in the courtroom,” says Mr. Lanier. “Now that DePuy and Johnson & Johnson have been found liable, we’re looking forward to trying another set of plaintiffs’ cases, hopefully this fall.”
The Pinnacle metal-on-metal system was manufactured from 2002 to 2012 before DePuy pulled the metal liners off the market in 2013. Although the Pinnacle devices have never been recalled, DePuy recalled other metal-on-metal hip implants that were sold under the ASR brand name to roughly 35,000 patients.