Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $500M for Defective Hip Implants

A Dallas federal jury slapped Johnson & Johnson Thursday with a $502 million verdict for hiding defects that caused its Pinnacle artificial hips to prematurely fail and left patients facing revision surgeries and long-term pain. Langdon & Emison is representing patients nationwide in lawsuits involving the Pinnacle metal-on-metal hips.  

Jurors awarded $142 million in actual damages and $360 million in punitive damages to a group of five patients whose hip implants failed early and had to be surgically removed, according to media reports. The jury concluded that the Pinnacle devices were defective and J&J knew about the flaws but failed to warn patients and doctors about the risks.

“This verdict is a tremendous result for these plaintiffs and a significant positive development in the overall status of the DePuy Pinnacle litigation,” said Brett Emison, partner and lead mass torts attorney at Langdon & Emison.

More than 8,000 lawsuits have been filed against J&J and its DePuy unit over the Pinnacle model of all-metal hips. Hip replacements are expected to last at least 10-15 years; however, in many cases, the devices failed within the first five years and caused serious injuries such as infection, tissue damage and bone fracture.

Patients also claim the devices’ metal components rub together and shed metal debris into the bloodstream, leaving them with elevated and dangerous levels of cobalt and chromium.

J&J stopped selling the Pinnacle device in 2013 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tightened artificial hip regulations. The device was approved by the FDA’s 510(k) system, which speeds up the approval processing by bypassing clinical trials.

During 2010, the FDA received at least 548 adverse event reports involving the Pinnacle hip implant. Some reports included situations where patients required revision surgery because the implant was loosening or migrating out of position.

Contact Langdon & Emison

If you or a loved one has experienced an injury from a failed hip implant, contact Langdon & Emison at 800-397-4910. We will review your case at no cost or obligation to you to determine if you have a claim.