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Johnson and johnson loses another depuy hip lawsuit

Jury Awards $247 Million Verdict In Fourth Bellweather Depuy Hip Trial

November 16, 2017
A Texas federal jury has awarded a $247 million verdict in the fourth bellwether trial against Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. This is the third major verdict against the maker of the metal on metal hips.

The unanimous jury found that Johnson and Johnson and DePuy were liable for a series of design and manufacturing defects, fraud and deceptive business practices. They also found that the companies had acted with wanton, reckless or malicious conduct. They awarded $90 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson and $78 million in punitive damages against DePuy.

The jury specifically found Johnson and Johnson and DePuy liable for design defect, negligent design, inadequate warning, manufacturing defect, negligent manufacture, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation to the surgeons who performed the initial hip implant surgeries on the plaintiffs, fraudulent concealment from the plaintiffs and from the surgeons and deceptive business practices as to the plaintiffs and the surgeons. The jury also found Johnson and Johnson liable for negligent undertaking of a duty to provide services to DePuy and for aiding and abetting DePuy in its tortious conduct.

For the six individual plaintiffs the jury awarded more than $77 million in past and future medical expenses and pain and suffering, including each plaintiffs’ actual past medical expenses. Four of the plaintiffs’ spouses were awarded loss of consortium damages totaling $1.7 million.

Johnson & Johnson is almost certain to appeal the verdict on the grounds that the Court had no jurisdiction. However, Judge Ed Kinkeade excluded from evidence a number of documents and emails that Johnson & Johnson argued shouldn't have been admitted in previous bellwether trials. This is important because it means the jury evaluated Johnson & Johnson’s best possible defense and found it so lacking that they still awarded nearly a quarter-billion dollars in damages.

The verdict followed a two-month trial, the fourth trial in multidistrict litigation that includes more than 9,000 cases alleging design defects in DePuy’s Pinnacle Ultamet line of metal-on-metal hip implants. In 2016, Texas juries found in favor of two groups of plaintiffs from Texas and California, awarding them $502 million and more than $1 billion in damages. These verdicts were later reduced to $150 million and $543 million.

Although Johnson and Johnson has already said they will appeal, the attorneys at TheLawFirm.com hope that they begin to settle these cases. If they don’t become more reasonable, it is time for Judge Kinkeade to remand these cases for trial.

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