Johnson & Johnson must pay $1.041 billion to six California residents who experienced serious side effects from their metal-on-metal (MoM) hip implants; the jurors declared that the devices were defectively designed and that DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, failed to adequately warn consumers.
DePuy originally marketed these devices as safe and long-lasting alternatives to ceramic-on-metal (CoM) and plastic-on-metal (PoM) implants. But the plaintiffs experienced serious complications, including bone loss and tissue death. Since the verdict included only $32 million in compensatory damages, the judge will probably reduce the punitive damages award to meet punitive damages caps in Texas law. However, the message is clear, according to lead plaintiffs’ counsel Mark Lanier. Johnson & Johnson has “a really nasty part of their business they need to clean up,” he commented. DePuy stopped selling Pinnacle MoM implants in 2013, and last year, the pharmaceutical giant paid $2.5 billion to settle 7,000 actions related to the similar ASR implants, which were recalled in 2010.