Articles Tagged with Depuy Pinnacle

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Third Depuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trial
The latest Depuy Pinnacle Hip bellwether trial is underway in Dallas, Texas. All bellwether trials are important, but this one is more important than most. After all, this trial follows an astonishing result in the second bellwether trial, where a jury awarded five plaintiffs more than $500,000,000.00 in damages for injuries caused by the Depuy Pinnacle hip. More about that case in a moment. But this third bellwether trial is critically important to Depuy and Johnson & Johnson (the Depuy Pinnacle manufacturers) who desperately need a court victory after the second bellwether trial. Another large verdict for the plaintiffs will most likely change the fate of any global settlement with the eight thousand plaintiffs who still have cases against Depuy and Johnson & Johnson.

Third Depuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trial

Judge Kinkeade, the federal judge in Texas overseeing the Depuy Pinnacle multidistrict litigation, selected seven individual cases to be consolidated in the current bellwether trial. The plaintiffs are Marvin Andrews, Kathleen Davis, Sandra Llamas, Rosa Metzler, Judith Rodriguez, Lisa Standerfer, and Michael Weiser. All the plaintiffs are from California. Their cases were transferred to the Depuy Pinnacle MDL in Dallas, Texas.

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They say justice delayed is justice denied. Apparently Judge Kinkeade in the Depuy Pinnacle Artificial Hip MDL thinks so. On June 10, 2016, Judge Kinkeade denied Depuy’s motion to delay all future trials until the company completes its appeal of a massive $500 million jury verdict.

Depuy Motion to Stay DeniedDepuy Orthopaedics and its parent company Johnson & Johnson filed their “motion to stay” on May 24, 2016. They asked the court to delay all further trials in the Depuy Pinnacle MDL until an appellate court rules on their appellate issues. (It is very common for a company in any case to appeal a trial verdict when the jury awards significant damages to the plaintiffs.) Depuy claimed there were significant errors made at the trial. Depuy also argued that the decision in the appeal could have “far-reaching implications” on how future Pinnacle cases are tried. Defendants claimed the “grounds for appeal are strong” and that they “acted appropriately and responsibly in the design and testing” of the devices.

Judge Kinkeade, who presides over the Depuy Pinnacle MDL in Dallas, Texas, denied the motion to stay the trials. In his order Judge Kinkeade selected seven bellwether cases to be tried beginning September 6, 2016. You can read that Order here.

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Male Patient With Pain From Depuy ASR Hip

I have been getting a few calls recently from people who still have the Depuy ASR hip implanted in one or both hips. They are asking the right questions: Are the metal levels in my blood too high? How will metallosis affect my long-term health? Will the component slip on me now and cause all kinds of new pain? Should I schedule surgery and have the Depuy ASR components removed? Plainly, these are questions for a doctor, not a lawyer. I can’t answer any questions specific to your health. Eventually, however, these callers ask an intriguing question: I have the Depuy ASR hip implanted in my body and I have not yet scheduled revision surgery: Do I have a valid claim against Depuy and Johnson & Johnson? It’s a good question.

People with Depuy ASR hip components implanted in their bodies who did not undergo revision surgery did not “qualify” for the two settlements that have been reached in the Depuy ASR multidistrict litigation (DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2197). But this does not mean they are not injured or that they do not have a valid claim. All it means is that they did not qualify to participate in the settlement based on the timelines in the settlement agreements. Let’s take a step back.

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The ground moved on March 17, 2016. In a Dallas Texas courtroom a federal jury ordered Depuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson to pay five unfairly injured people $502 million dollars, including a stunning $360 million in punitive damages.  The jury based this award on findings that Depuy hid critical defects in the design of the Depuy Pinnacle artificial hip system and hid these risks from doctors and patients.

I’ve written about this case before (In re: DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 11-md-02244, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas)).  Five plaintiffs (Aoki, Christopher, Greer, Klusmann, Peterson) agreed to have their cases tried together.  This was not a “class action” lawsuit.  Rather, because the five individual cases had sufficient similarities, the judge, parties, and attorneys agreed to try all five cases in one jury trial.  The single jury heard all the evidence in these cases, but Judge Ed Kinkeade instructed the jury to consider liability in each individual case, and to award separate damages for each plaintiff.  Boy did they.

Texas Jury Awards $500 Million

$360,000,000 in Punitive Damages

Five patients implanted with the Depuy Pinnacle artificial hip were awarded $502,000,000.00.  The jury concluded that the Pinnacle hip sold by Depuy was defective and that Depuy knew about the flaws but did not warn patients and their doctors of the risks.  The jury awarded $142,000,000.00 in actual damages and $360,000,000.00 in punitive damages.

Depuy is owned by parent company Johnson & Johnson, who will be on the hook for paying this judgment.

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