Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $502 million to 5 patients who accused the company of hiding flaws in its Pinnacle metal on metal artificial hips that caused the devices to prematurely fail and left patients facing surgeries and pain. This was J&J's first loss over the Pinnacle product.
A federal-court jury in Dallas concluded Thursday March 17, 2016 that artificial hips sold by J&J's DePuy unit under the Pinnacle brand name were defective and company officials knew about the flaws but failed to warn patients and doctors of the risks. They awarded $142 million in actual damages and $360 million in punitive damages to the patients whose hips broke down and had to be surgically removed.
"The defendants have tried six different arguments against people with failed implants," said Mark Lanier, a lawyer for those who sued. "One worked, that the surgeon put it in wrong. The other five haven't worked and won't, because it is a defective product."
In an earlier trial, J&J won, using the first argument in a trial with a single plaintiff. Lanier was the attorney for the patient with the implant.