A federal jury in Texas, USA, recently reached a verdict against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy, which has been ordered to pay $502 million to five claimants who have suffered injuries caused by the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant.

DePuy had, in a previous trial, argued successfully that the components had been improperly placed during surgery. This argument did not succeed in this case and the jury reached a verdict that DePuy Orthopaedics’ flagship metal-on-metal hip implant, the Pinnacle Ultamet, had been defectively designed.

In an emailed statement, DePuy spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley said DePuy had “acted appropriately and responsibly in the design and testing” of the Pinnacle hip devices. “The product is backed by a strong record of safety and effectiveness in reducing pain and restoring mobility for patients.”

Johnson & Johnson has confirmed it will appeal the decision.

Arran Macleod, a solicitor in the product liability team at Penningtons Manches, said: “It is significant that the court found that the DePuy-manufactured hips were defective and that the injuries were caused by the defect. We act for many clients with claims against manufacturers as a result of problems they have experienced with their metal-on-metal hip. Many are profoundly affected with pain, mobility difficulties and the need for revision surgery. This verdict may have wide-reaching implications for metal-on-metal hip claims.”

The Pinnacle Ultamet metal-on-metal hip device has been discontinued but was reportedly implanted in more than 11,000 individuals across the UK. If you, or someone you know, has experienced problems with their metal-on-metal hip, we suggest you contact your surgeon to assess whether there may be any underlying problems with the hip components.