Depuy Pinnacle Hip Settlements and Verdicts
The latest news and updates regards Depuy Hip verdicts and settlements from the Depuy Hip Trials.
Depuy Settlement News: J&J Annual Disclosures Silent On Reported DePuy PINNACLE Hip MDL Settlement
February 24, 2019
Author: Daniel Gala
Despite reports of a settlement agreement having been reached earlier this month in massive multidistrict litigation (MDL) over hip-implant devices manufactured and sold by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopeadics, Inc., J&J’s annual financial disclosures to the United States Security and Exchange Commission are silent on any such agreement, a review by TheLawFirm.com has revealed. However, electronic minute entries contained on the MDL’s website show no updates to an in-progress bellwether trial since January 30, lending weight to reports that the jury in that trial had been released after the judge was made aware of the imminent settlement.
While Johnson & Johnson’s Form 10-K for the 12 months ending December 31, 2018, posted February 20, 2019, does note that “[c]laims for personal injury have also been made against DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson (collectively, DePuy) relating to the PINNACLE Acetabular Cup System used in hip replacement surgery,” the disclosures make no mention of any settlement agreement or of the sudden stop to the bellwether trial, which was the retrial of an earlier case that had been reversed and remanded on appeal. In fact, according to the disclosures, “[t]he number of pending product liability lawsuits [over the DePuy PINNACLE]” continues to increase.”
While the reported DePuy PINNACLE settlement appears to have been finalized in early 2019, after the close of the 2018 reporting period covered by the J&J filing, companies oftentimes include in their SEC disclosures updates to material information that has become available after the close of the reporting period in question but prior to the official filing of the disclosures. For example, Boston Scientific Corporation included in its 2018 10-K settlement information from as recent as February 2019.
That J&J’s Form 10-K for 2018 does not reference the DePuy PINNACLE settlement agreement should not be taken as evidence that the reported agreement does not exist; however, at the least, its absence from the disclosures suggests that the exact terms of the agreement have yet to be finalized and/or that J&J has been less eager to report the agreement to investors and regulators than, for example, Boston Scientific was to announce its settlement of nearly 50,000 surgical mesh claims, which was finalized at about the same time as J&J reportedly reached terms on its DePuy PINNACLE settlement.
Make sure to bookmark TheLawFirm.com for regular updates on DePuy hip implant litigation.
Johnson & Johnson Corporation. (20 February 2019). Form 10-K for 12 months ended Dec. 30, 2018. Notes to Financial Statements. Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure. Legal Proceedings. Product Liability. United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Boston Scientific Corporation. (19 February 2019). Form 10-K. Note J - Commitments and Contingencies. Product Liability Litigation. United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. (5 February 2019). Both Sides Close to a Deal in Pinnacle Hip Implant Cases. MCTLawyers.com
Electronic Minutes Entry. (30 January 2019). Aoki v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. et al. MDL 2244 (Jury Trial 01/16/19). United States District Court Northern District of Texas
Depuy Settlement News: Amidst Surprise Announcement of Potential Settlement Agreement in DePuy Hip MDL, Hindsight Reveals Hints of Earlier Progress
February 11, 2019
With speculation running rampant after an attorney with knowledge of such matters reportedly announced that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. had reached a tentative settlement agreement that could potentially provide a pathway out of massive multidistrict litigation (MDL) that has lasted nearly a decade and has involved approximately 10,000 individual cases, Bloomberg has reported the judge overseeing the MDL as previously having confirmed that approximately one-third of those cases had been settled or were engaged in settlement talks.
While news of a potential settlement agreement to end the DePuy hip implant MDL came as something of a surprise across the legal and medical establishments in terms of its timing, there had been hints leading up to the sudden disbanding of the jury in an active bellwether trial jury that had suggested a resolution was in the works. As 2018 wound to a close, the judge in the case issued an order stating that approximately 3,300 cases, or about a third of total, already had settled or were engaged in talks.
In bellwether trials taking place over the past several years, juries have found against J&J and DePuy to the tune of approximately $1.5 billion, although most of those monetary awards have later been reversed. Still, the massive damages placed intense pressure on the defendant companies to reach some sort of agreement with plaintiffs, if only to create additional cost certainty as to their total financial exposure.
Although settlement terms have not been disclosed publicly, the nine-figure cumulative bellwether verdicts also suggest that plaintiffs would not have been bought off cheaply. Stay tuned for TheLawFirm.com for the latest updates on the DePuy hip MDL settlement.
Depuy Settlement News: Tentative Agreement Reached In DePuy Hip MDL, Atty Says
February 11, 2019
Massive, years-long multidistrict litigation (MDL) brought by patients accusing DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and its parent company Johnson & Johnson of liability for harms allegedly caused by faulty hip implant devices appeared possibly and suddenly to be nearing its end in early February when an attorney involved with the matter announced that a tentative agreement had been reached among the parties, according to multiple reports.
Lending credence to the attorney’s assertions, the judge overseeing the retrial of a bellwether case in the MDL abruptly released the jury from duty, though the jurors had heard weeks of evidence in the complex, technically difficult trial and had yet to render a verdict.
While details of the alleged agreement were not released publicly, the prospect of the two sides reaching a settlement sent shockwaves through the legal and healthcare communities. The DePuy hip implant MDL has been ongoing for years and involves some 10,000 individual cases.
Although a spokesperson for DePuy declined to comment on the existence of an agreement, a settlement would mean an end to years of legal wrangling and would allow funds finally to reach the injured parties.
Notably, the announcement of the tentative agreement comes just weeks after Johnson & Johnson reached a settlement with the attorneys general of 46 different U.S. states over claims of misleading and deceptive marketing practices relating to DePuy’s ASR XL and Pinnacle Ultamet hip implant devices. Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay out $120 million as part of that settlement.
Stay tuned to TheLawFirm.com for the latest updates on this fast-developing story.
Magglio, C. & Toale, P.A. (5 February 2019). Both Sides Close to a Deal in Pinnacle Hip Implant Cases
Kass, Dani. (22 January 2019). J&J To Pay States $120M For False Hip Implant Promos. Law360
Johnson & Johnson Willing To Pay More Than $400 Million To Settle Pinnacle Hip Cases
December 13, 2018
Finally, after seven years of litigation and several large jury verdicts against them, Johnson & Johnson has announced it is willing to pay more than $400 million to settle some of the ten thousand or so lawsuits surrounding the Pinnacle Hip. While the prospect of settlement must sound attractive to the victims of these defective hips, TheLawFirm.com is strongly opposed to this settlement and will not be recommending it to our clients.
The details of the proposed settlement is that J&J will pay about $400 million to 3300 or so of the Plaintiffs. This works out to an average of about $125,000 per case to resolve about a third of the suits pending against J&J over Pinnacle hips.
J&J is apparently seeking to resolve the remaining Pinnacle cases before another trial gets underway on January 14,2019. In this trial, five Pinnacle-hip recipients will again allege that J&J rushed the devices to market with little testing and misled doctors about the devices’ safety profiles.
So why are the hip attorneys at TheLawFirm.com rejecting this settlement offer? We know that, over the past two years, juries in federal court in Dallas have ordered the J&J to pay at least $1.7 billion in damages for Pinnacle hips. Despite the fact that verdicts have been thrown out on appeal or reduced by the trial judges, including the $1 billion award that was slashed almost in half, the average verdict amount is about $100,000,000 per Plaintiff. We believe that this number reflects the conduct of Johnson and Johnson and the damages the Plaintiffs have sustained. $125,000 is simply not enough money for our clients.
We are also keenly aware that the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is currently weighing whether to uphold the verdict that produced the $1 billion award. If the verdict is upheld, the value of these cases goes up. To be blunt, we like our chances on appeal. The Pinnacle hip is not a good product and the evidence has not shown that J&J acted honorably about it.
As well, we are aware that, instead of negotiating a global settlement, J&J is settling individual lawyers’ inventories of Pinnacle cases. The company is using the same tactic it used to resolve lawsuits over its defective vaginal mesh. This approach does not appear to be impressing the Court, who wrote in an Order dated December 9, 2018 that the “Defendants’ domino confidential settlements have left the court without necessary information about the total or projected value of settlement.’’
So, if you had a Pinnacle hip and you are awaiting settlement news, we urge you to very, very carefully consider this proposal. You should be aware that only about a third of cases are settling and many lawyers are refusing this number because it is not adequate compensation for their clients. If your attorney urges you to settle, you should ask ‘why’. J&J is losing these trials and losing them big. They shouldn’t get out cheap now for all the damage and injury they have caused.
Depuy Pinnacle Hip Settlement: Why Hasn’t My Case Settled?
November 29, 2018
As time goes on, we are asked more often about a Pinnacle hip settlement. Questions like ‘why haven’t these cases settled’ and ‘if my case isn’t going to settle soon, can I take it to trial’ are asked of us more frequently.
First, these cases are in a MDL. That means they have to work through that process, including the bellwether trials. There have been three trials so far, with verdicts of $502 million, $1.04 billion, and $247 million. This works out to about $100,000,000 per Plaintiff! We believe these numbers reflects the conduct of Johnson & Johnson and the strength of our claims against them for this defective metal hip. Until this process is complete, and the Court starts remanding cases back to the Federal District Courts, it is essentially impossible for any individual Plaintiff to have his or her case tried. However, as we note below, we expect the remanding process to start soon.
With regards to settlement, this would require Johnson & Johnson to make an offer that is reflective of the value of the cases. The corporate culture of J&J is to drag things out and delay for as many years as possible. In order for any settlement offer to be acceptable, it would have to reflective of the conduct that has been exposed in the trials so far, the damages and injuries our clients have sustained, and how juries have reacted to these cases.
So, if the Pinnacle cases have not settled what is happening? A number of events in the near future will be very instructive as to how these cases are going to go. First, another bellwether trial is scheduled for early 2019. Assuming Johnson & Johnson loses again (and loses big), perhaps they will start serious settlement discussions. Second, we are expecting the Fifth Circuit to rule on Johnson and Johnson’s appeal on the $502 million verdict. Third, we don’t expect the MDL process to continue indefinitely. If the cases don’t resolve, the Court will start remanding cases. The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are dedicated to trying these cases. We will be attending additional training specifically geared towards this litigation. We intend to carefully review the discovery and transcripts from trials that have been done. We will learn more about the witnesses, the science that been presented and the documents that have introduced so far.
In short, although the Pinnacle cases have not settled yet, 2019 will likely prove to be a year when Johnson & Johnson seriously comes to the table with an offer that reflects the damage and injury these hips have caused or it will be year where Plaintiffs attorneys start to try, and win, these cases throughout the United States.
DePuy Hip Lawsuit Verdict News: Johnson & Johnson files motions saying $245 Million Depuy hip verdict should be tossed
September 27, 2018
Arguing alternatively that the plaintiffs lacked personal jurisdiction, that the plaintiffs’ expert testimony was inadequate, and that “no reasonable jury” could have reached the conclusion reached by a Texas federal jury in November 2017, Johnson & Johnson has filed three separate motions arguing that a $245 million jury verdict over DePuy Pinnacle Ultimet hip implants should be tossed out by the court, Law360 has reported.
The case, which involves a collection of New York-based plaintiffs, was the fourth bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation (MDL) over the DePuy Pinnacle Ultimet metal-on-metal hip implant. The $247 million verdict, later adjusted to $245 million to account for medical expenses reimbursed by insurance and other items, was the third loss in a row for Johnson & Johnson and its medical-device-making subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics. The MDL presently includes approximately 9,000 active cases.
In its filings seeking to overturn the verdict, Johnson & Johnson sought to distance itself legally from DePuy, arguing that the consumer-goods giant’s only connection to the case was that “it is the ultimate parent company of DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.” Because Johnson & Johnson itself had not “manufactured or distributed the Pinnacle Ultamet”, the company argued, it should not be held liable.
In other motions, Johnson & Johnson argued that the verdict should be thrown out because the New York plaintiffs did not meet the standards for jurisdiction by the Texas federal court overseeing the MDL and because the plaintiffs failed to provide “any expert testimony that the warnings accompanying the Pinnacle hip implant were inadequate.”
Mark Lanier, attorney for the plaintiffs, expressed confidence that the court would reject J&J’s arguments and allow the nine-figure verdict to stand, telling Law360 that the motions amounted to a “rehash” of the company’s losing positions.
If you or a loved one has required revision surgery after receiving a defective hip implant, contact the experienced team of attorneys at TheLawFirm.com today for a free legal consultation with a licensed attorney!
Depuy Hip Lawsuit Verdict News: Plaintiff awarded $245 Million in 3rd straight bellwether victory over johnson and johnson, depuy
September 4, 2018
On Wednesday, August 29, 2018, a federal judge finalized a $245 million judgment awarded to a group of six plaintiffs over claims that they suffered serious injuries on account of Pinnacle Ultamet metal-on-metal hip implants designed and manufactured by consumer-goods giant Johnson & Johnson and its affiliate DePuy Orthopaedics.
Dating back to a November 2017 jury verdict, the finalized judgment comes in the case of six New York-based plaintiffs who had sued the defendant companies over the allegedly defective hip-implant devices. The case was the fourth bellwether trial to take place as part of federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) being conducted in the Northern District of Texas. The verdict represents the third-consecutive nine-figure verdict against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy.
According to Law360, the court’s docket for the case gave no suggestion that the defendants intended to appeal the judgment.
The MDL over DePuy Pinnacle Ultamet metal-on-metal hip implants presently involves approximately 9,000 different patients, according to Law360. The bellwether trials are intended to lay the groundwork for future settlement negotiations between the plaintiffs and defendants.
The $245 million judgment represents a slight decrease from the $247 million initial jury award. In early August, plaintiffs had requested a reduction of $1.2 million for medical costs that had been reimbursed by private insurance, as required under New York state law.
Finding that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy had engaged in wanton, reckless, or malicious conduct toward the plaintiffs, the jury’s November 2017 verdict unanimously held the companies liable for fraud, deceptive business practices, and several design and manufacturing defects. In addition to $77 million for pain and suffering as well as past and future medical expenses, the jury ordered the companies to pay a combined $168 million in punitive damages.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of a defective medical device, contact the experienced team of attorneys at TheLawFirm.com today for a free consultation with a licensed attorney!
April 29, 2018
Following revelations that the lead attorney for the plaintiff had misled jurors as to whether expert witnesses were being compensated for their testimony, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on April 27 tossed out the jury’s $502 million verdict and remanded the case back to the lower court for retrial. The case arises from the plaintiff’s allegations that Johnson & Johnson unit DePuy Orthopedics Inc. manufactured and sold defective hip implant devices, which resulted in serious harm to the plaintiff.
In directing that the case be retried at the trial court level, the appellate court decision cited additional problems with the lower court’s evidentiary decisions, including admitting highly prejudicial evidence suggesting that a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary allegedly had paid bribes to the regime of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
During the original trial, Mark Lanier—lead attorney for the plaintiff—made multiple statements before the jury indicating that the plaintiff’s expert witnesses were unpaid volunteers acting solely altruistically and out of medical concern for the plaintiff. However, after the trial, Johnson & Johnson discovered that two orthopedic surgeons testifying on behalf of the defense had indeed received compensation from the plaintiff’s legal team. Dr. Bernard Morrey Sr. received $35,000 following the trial, while Dr. Bernard Morrey Jr. received $30,000, also after the conclusion of the trial. In addition, prior to the trial, Lanier donated $10,000 to a charity of Morrey Sr.’s choice.
The appellate court did not equivocate in condemning Lanier, declaring in its decision: “Let us speak plainly: Lawyers cannot engage with a favorable expert, pay him ‘for his time,’ then invite him to testify as a purportedly ‘nonretained’ neutral party. That is deception plain and simple. And to follow that up with a post-trial ‘thank you’ check merely compounds the professional indiscretion.”
The reversal of the $502 million verdict is particularly significant because the case is the second of four bellwether trials in multidistrict litigation (MDL) over DePuy’s Pinnacle Ultamet metal-on-metal hip implants, the outcome of which will set important precedent for the cases that follow.
This is yet another striking example of how one’s choice of attorney can literally mean the difference between winning a case or losing it. If you or a loved one has received a DePuy Pinnacle hip implant and have suffered serious complications as a result, contact the experienced team of attorneys at TheLawFirm.com today for a free consultation.
Depuy Hip Lawsuit Verdict News: Johnson & Johnson Depuy ordered to pay $1.04 Billion
December 15, 2018
A jury ruled against Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit and awarded a verdict of $1.04 billion. The jury found that J&J and DePuy had negligently designed the hip implant, failed to warn surgeons about dangerous conditions related to the implant, and concealed its risks. However, US District Judge Ed Kinkeade in Texas has ruled that punitive damages cannot be more than 10 times a plaintiff’s actual damages and has reduced the verdict in half.
The jury had awarded $168 million in punitive damages to each of six plaintiffs. In halving the $1 billion total verdict, the judge cited the US Supreme Court ruling in State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Campbell, saying that “[F]ew awards exceeding a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages, to a significant degree, will satisfy due process.”
The judge did not disturb $4 million and $6 million in compensatory damage awards.
Both sides have said they would appeal.
Depuy Hip Lawsuit Verdict News: Jury awards $247 Million verdict in fourth bellwether 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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