Note from Attorney David Szerlag
Our law firm is pleased to report that a jury in Texas has once again found in favor of patients severely injured by DePuy Pinnacle hips manufactured by DePuy, a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) company. The 6 patients involved in the lawsuit all had to have a second (revision) surgery to remove the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant, repair tissue and bone damage, and replace the Pinnacle with another hip replacement device.
In awarding over $1 Billion dollars to six plaintiffs, the jury found that J&J hid flaws in its Pinnacle artificial hips that had to be surgically removed, according to court documents. The jury found that officials at J&J’s DePuy unit, manufacturer of the hips, “knew the devices were defective, but failed to properly warn doctors and patients about the risk they would fail.”
As expected J&J has plans to appeal this verdict as they did for the verdict earlier this year. We would expect that, given guidelines issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Kinkaid will substantially reduce the verdict; however, we all hope that these verdicts will bring J&J to the table in efforts to settle approximately 9,000 suits that are currently pending in the MDL.
We will continue to keep you up to date as we continue this long, drawn-out battle to protect our clients’ rights.
Attorney David J. Szerlag and the Pritzker Pinnacle Team
The J&J DePuy Pinnacle Hip Lawsuit
On December 1, 2016, the jury in the J&J DePuy Pinnacle hip trial started on September 21, 2016, found in favor of 6 patients whose Pinnacle devices failed, awarding the patients and their spouses over $30 million in actual damages and over $1 billion in punitive damages. The 6 cases involved in this trial were the following: Andrews (3:15-cv-03484-K), Davis (3:15-cv-01767-K), Metzler (3:12-cv-02066-K), Rodriguez (3:13-cv-03938-K), Standerfer (3:14-cv-01730-K), and Weiser (3:13-cv-03631-K).
In addition to other findings, the jury found that DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. had done the following:
- Intentional Misrepresentation: “knowingly and recklessly” made “a false representation regarding the Pinnacle Ultament” to the 6 patients and their implanting physicians;
- Fraudulent Concealment: “intentionally” failed “to disclose facts about the Pinnacle Ultamet with the intent to deceive” the 6 patients and their implanting physicians (MDL court document).
The jury awarded the following amounts:
- To 4 of the patients, $1 million each for each of the following: past and reasonable future physical pain and loss of enjoyment; past and reasonable future disfigurement; past and reasonable future physical impairment; past and reasonable future mental suffering, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation and emotional distress.
- To 2 of the patients, $1.5 million for each of the following: past and reasonable future physical pain and loss of enjoyment; past and reasonable future disfigurement; past and reasonable future physical impairment; past and reasonable future mental suffering, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation and emotional distress.
- To the 4 spouses (2 husbands and 2 wives), $1 million for loss of consortium.
- Medical expenses for the 6 patients in the following amounts: $118,324.74; $80,523.77; $25, 045.63; $61,415.45; $45,470.43; $30,868.15.
- To the 6 patients, punitive damages totaling $505,000,000 (DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.) and $505,000,000 (Johnson & Johnson).
- To the 4 spouses, punitive damages in the amount of $500,000 (DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.) and $500,000 (J&J).
This is the second trial that has resulted in huge awards to Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement patients. On March 17, 2016, a jury verdict in a trial against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson that began on 1/8/2016 awarded 5 patients over $500 million, reduced to $154 million, pursuant to Texas law ( Aoki (3:13-cv-1071-K), Christopher (3:14-cv-1994-K), Greer (3:12-cv-1672-K), Klusmann (3:11-cv-2800-K), and Peterson (3:11-cv-1941-K)).
DePuy Pinnacle hip products were sold throughout the United States: Alabama AL, Arizona AZ, Los Angeles, California CA, Colorado CO, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, Florida FL, Georgia GA, Iowa IA, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Kansas KS, Louisiana LA, Massachusetts MA, Maryland MD, Maine ME, Michigan MI, Minnesota MN, North Carolina NC, North Dakota ND, Nebraska NE, New Hampshire NH, New Jersey NJ, New York NY, Ohio OH, Oklahoma OK, Oregon OR, Pennsylvania PA, Rhode Island RI, South Carolina SC, South Dakota SD, Tennessee TN, Texas TX, Utah UT, Virginia VA, Washington WA, West Virginia WV, Wyoming WY.
David Szerlag and the Pritzker Hageman team are representing some of the 9000+ patients who have filed lawsuits against DePuy and J&J. The law firm is not representing the patients involved in the lawsuits discussed above. Attorney David Szerlag has a leadership role in the multidistrict litigation (MDL).