In late April 2018, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the $151 million-dollar verdict in the second bellwether trial involving the defective DePuy Pinnacle hip implant. Bellwether trials are aimed at allowing involved parties to gauge the value of remaining legal claims and inform potential settlement talks.
The Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant has been described as defective and was pulled from the market (but not recalled) after it was discovered that several recipients suffered significant pain, cobalt-chromium toxicity, pseudotumors and even total implant failure.
The initial trial verdict ordered Johnson & Johnson, and their subsidiary DePuy, to pay $502 million to the five bellwether plaintiffs, recipients of the Pinnacle hip implant. Subsequently, the Judge reduced the award to $151 million.
The appellate court overturned the verdict, citing that Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas allowed the introduction of “inflammatory character evidence” establishing a link between Johnson & Johnson and bribes allegedly paid to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.
The appellate court decision has now set the stage for a retrial. Plaintiffs’ attorney, Mark Lanier, does not seek an appeal, but rather an immediate retrial. According to an interview, he believes that he will be able to recover an even larger verdict for the plaintiffs this time around. He stated that he believes the court misunderstood the issues and is pushing for a retrial as soon as possible.
Johnson & Johnson has said that it is now facing over 10,000 product liability lawsuits related to the Pinnacle hip implants. DePuy prevailed in the first bellwether trial related to the Pinnacle hip implant but has also been ordered to pay verdicts of $543 million and $247 million in other related trials.
The attorneys at Kershaw, Cook & Talley, P.C. are dedicated to keeping you updated on all proceedings relating to the Pinnacle hip implant litigation. If you had a defective Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip, call our firm for unparalleled legal representation. For a free case evaluation, call (916) 520-6639.