The third bellwether case in the matter of the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants rendered a $1 billion verdict for the six plaintiffs whose cases were tried over the last two months.
Medical giant Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopedics division continued to sell its metal-on-metal Pinnacle devices even after reports surfaced showing increased failure rates associated with that type of product. Further, the companies never recalled the Pinnacle metal hips, and only took them off the market in 2013 when FDA regulations required additional steps for market approval.
A large portion of the verdict is in the form of punitive damages, which are intended to punish a defendant’s wrongdoing. In this case, the jury found evidence of misrepresentations and conspiracy involving the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip.
Metal-on-metal hip implants have been found to cause a condition known as metallosis when the device wears and releases metal ions into surrounding tissue. This can result in severe tissue damage, including the formation of pseudotumors around the hip capsule, among other medical problems. A second hip replacement surgery, known as a revision, is sometimes the only option to address these problems.
Egerton Law has been representing individuals injured by metal-on-metal hip implants since 2010, when DePuy recalled the ASR hip system, and news of metal-related injuries were beginning to surface.
In 2013, DePuy entered into a Settlement Agreement with those injured by its ASR metal-on-metal hip implant. Other device manufacturers, including Biomet, Inc., Zimmer, Inc., and Wright Medical Technology, Inc., have also created settlement programs to resolve claims related to metal-on-metal hip devices.
Most recently, Smith & Nephew, Inc., USA, announced that it is voluntarily removing its modular neck prostheses of the SMF™ and Modular REDAPT™ Revision Femoral Hip Systems after receiving reports of high rates of metal-related complications. These complications may lead to revision surgery.