Jury Awards $8.3 Million to Hip Implant Victim
A Los Angeles, California jury recently awarded a retired Montana man $8.3 million for damages he allegedly suffered in connection with a “metal on metal” hip implant, designed and marketed by DePuy ASR, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
The victim claimed that he suffered serious complications from the implant, including blood poisoning from the degradation of the metal components.
Similar to the hip implant made by Stryker Corporation that our blog addressed roughly a month ago, this DePuy product had been recalled in 2010, and this plaintiff was reportedly the first to wrap up his case.
According to Barry Meier of the New York Times, at trial the victim’s lawyers presented compelling evidence in the form of internal J&J documents, revealing that surgeons paid as consultants by J&J had reported that the implant design was flawed.
Despite this evidence though, the jury did not find the defendants liable for failing to warn the victim adequately about the risks associated with the product. As a result, the defense avoided potentially millions of dollars in additional damages, including a potential punitive award.
As expected, the defense lawyers also stated that they disagreed with the findings of the Los Angeles jury that the hip implant was defective, and indicated that they would file an appeal.
The successful plaintiff was reportedly the first to reach a trial verdict out of an estimated 11,000 personal injury claimants who have filed or joined in suits against the defendant manufacturer, and the verdict is expected to pave the way for more recoveries or settlements in the future.
Many hundreds of individual cases have been consolidated into one lawsuit that is currently going forward in a U.S. District Court in Ohio, so patients with DePuy hip components may be approached by class action plaintiffs or lawyers seeking to add people to their class.
While class action remedies often promise justice without any expense to the litigants, they do not always produced the best possible results, in part because they cannot precisely tailor damages and remedies for each particular injury. Also, individuals who opt out of a class to pursue their own unique claims with the help of a highly qualified advocate generally fare better than class action plaintiffs in our experience.
If you have received a hip implant, and believe that you are affected by this product recall, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to speak with one of our qualified personal injury attorneys. We can help you determine if and how you might have been harmed, and what damages and remedies you can pursue. You can also check out our Website for more information about our law firm, Cogan & Power, P.C.