J and J has to pay $1 billion in damages because of defective hip devices


Over $1 billion in damages was awarded by a federal Dallas jury this week to six different residents of California as compensation for injuries caused by inadequate Pinnacle hip implants. Clients of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and their Unit DePuy Orthopedics were not warned about the risk of the Metal-on-Metal hip implants called ULTAMET.

The complainants listed a range of complications resulting from the faulty implants such as tissue necrosis, bone decrease, and other injuries caused by design failures of the implants. False promotion of both companies stating the implants being more durable than traditional ceramic or plastic implants, was also claimed by the plaintiffs.

Any malpractice was denied by both J&J and DePuy and in a yesterday released statement J&J stated that they want to appeal the verdict at once. The company also outlined that they have to protect DePuy and themselves from further prosecution because they face over 8,000 lawsuits over the hip implants.

J&J emphasized the great responsibility to their patients and their goal in creating medical innovations helping people in making their lives more active and comfortable. The Appropriate and responsible manner in which the ULTAMET Metal-on-Metal device was designed and tested is backed by a strong track record of clinical data, according to the official statement from DePuy. Testing data said to show reduced pain and increased mobility for patients with chronical hip pain.

The total damages awarded were $1.041 billion, including a relative small amount in compensatory damages, but the main part in punitive damages. This amount only centered around six individual cases chosen by the plaintiffs committee.

Almost 8,400 separate lawsuits concerning the implants have been concentrated in the federal court in Texas, where further trial test cases have already been selected.


As for the hip implants themselves, DePuy stopped selling the Pinnacle implants in 2013 after restriction of the artificial hip regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Over 7,000 lawsuits were settled over the metal-on-metal hip devices in that same year. After a recall of hip implants in 2010 because of complications resulting from high failure rates, J&J and DePuy paid out $ 2.5 billion in settlements.