While plaintiffs lost their first bellwether trial against DePuy, they won the next three. The second trial ended with a jury award of $502 million, which was later lowered to $151 million on appeal. The third trial resulted in a payout of $1 billion, with metal shards embedded in tissues. The fourth trial resulted in a $247 million payout, which was based on the plaintiffs’ claim that they suffered from bone erosion, tissue loss, inflammation, and chronic pain.
Judith Rodriguez’s lawsuit
The jury in Judith Rodriguez’s DePuy pinnacle hip replacements lawsuit returned a verdict of more than $1 billion. The company is being sued by dozens of individuals who allege that metal-on-metal hip replacements are defective and lead to serious injuries. The verdict was the result of a multimillion-dollar settlement involving five individual lawsuits.
The court found that the metal-on-metal hip implant failed as a result failure, despite extensive clinical trials. The DePuy Pinnacle hip system had a metal socket liner that did not pass the FDA’s rigorous testing requirements. The metal-on-metal components of the hip implant can cause infections and metal hypersensitivity, and the components were not placed properly.
At trial, Dr. Schmalzried, who is six feet tall and played basketball at Stanford University, testified that DePuy paid him $30 million in royalties for marketing Pinnacle hips. He also spoke at length about his interest in marketing DePuy’s products. In one video, he cited the importance of crafting a “message” and said “the secret of marketing success” – a reference to the Pinnacle hip implant.
In the video below, DePuy’s CEO, Dr. Thomas Fehring, also testified about how the Pinnacle hip replacement failed. While DePuy admitted that it knew all along that the metal-on-metal hip replacement was dangerous, she showed that it failed to adequately test its implant before it was sold to the public. As a result, more patients were undergoing revision surgeries to correct their failing hip implants.
Medical malpractice claims against doctors
While the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement system was once considered an advancement in hip replacements, many people have suffered significant complications after receiving the implant. Some of them have filed lawsuits against doctors and orthopedic manufacturers who failed to follow the guidelines for the procedure. These individuals seek compensation for medical expenses and lost income, as well as financial reparations for pain and suffering. To date, DePuy has settled more than two-thousand lawsuits related to its hip replacements.
The company DePuy and its manufacturer Johnson & Johnson are facing lawsuits over the failure of the DePuy Pinnacle Hip. Approximately 150,000 people have had this type of implant, and doctors estimate that 10 percent of all-metal models will fail within two to three years. Despite this risk, plaintiffs claim that their doctors failed to disclose the high failure rate of the Pinnacle hip. In addition to suffering pain and disability, they also say that the device failed because the metals that make up the implant were contaminated with toxic metals.
To win a case, the plaintiff must prove that the manufacturer was negligent in producing the product. In addition, the plaintiff must show that the company used shoddy materials, made mistakes in the design, or made false or misleading statements in its advertising campaign. It is important to note that even if a patient undergoes a revision procedure, the plaintiff’s attorney still must prove that the doctor performed an incorrect procedure.
Product liability claims against DePuy
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury from a faulty DePuy hip replacement system, you may be eligible to file a product liability claim. The failure of the DePuy hip replacement system can result in serious complications, including dangerous infections and ongoing medical expenses. This can even lead to revision surgery. To maximize your chances of winning a case, it is critical to contact a product liability attorney who understands the complexities of such litigation.
A recent Bloomberg article reported that DePuy had offered to settle roughly 3,300 lawsuits related to the Pinnacle hip replacements. That would have resolved roughly a third of the total number of lawsuits, according to court documents. The article cited court documents from a federal court in Texas that said the company offered to settle each lawsuit individually, rather than agreeing to settle thousands of them. The settlement agreement between DePuy and plaintiff lawyers reflects the settlement process based on individual settlements and not a negotiated collective settlement.
A DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement replaces a natural bone ball and socket with a metal component. The purpose of this system was to provide more range of motion for active patients. The system offers surgeons several options in material selection, including metal-on-metal and ceramic-on-metal. The problem with both types of components is that they grind together and release metal particles that can cause high levels of cobalt and chromium.