On Thursday 1 December 2016, a US jury found Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. unit liable for more than $1.04 billion in respect of their Pinnacle Ultamet metal-on-metal hip. This same device is the subject of group litigation in the UK being led by Leigh Day solicitors and currently scheduled for a 14 week trial in October 2017.
This latest verdict against Depuy and its Pinnacle Ultamet follows a $150 million verdict delivered against the manufacturer in the same Texan court room earlier this year.
After a trial lasting two-months it took less than one day for the jury to find that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy had negligently designed the Pinnacle Ultamet hip implant.
In addition to the Jury finding that the Pinnacle Ultamet components caused the early failure of the Plaintiffs’ hip replacements it was the Jury’s unanimous verdict that there was clear and convincing evidence that the harm to the plaintiffs “resulted from malice, oppression, or fraud” and awarded the Claimants punitive damages against both DePuy and Johnson & Johnson.
Sarah Moore, solicitor for the UK Pinnacle Ultamet litigation, said: “The latest verdict from the US underscores the fact that Depuy marketed a product, implanted into thousands of people worldwide, which has caused patients to suffer significant pain, injury and revision surgery as a direct result of Depuys’ Pinnacle Ultamet device.
“Depuy led the race to get metal-on-metal hip replacements to market, in doing so it is our clients’ case that shortcuts were taken both in establishing the safety of the product prior to first marketing and in ensuring that the product was manufactured in such a way as to ensure its safe clinical use.”