Plaintiffs Win $502 Million For Artificial Hip Failures

Lever & Ecker, PLLC April 20, 2016 General

A group of plaintiffs was awarded just over $500 million in compensation in a lawsuit filed against medical device manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson.

The Pinnacle Artificial Hip

hip which requires hip replacementThe Pinnacle hip replacement, which is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000. Surgeons throughout the country have used these products in total hip replacements, a surgery which is supposed to give patients increased mobility and a reduction in pain.

The device, however, appears to have some serious issues with the design.  Patients have returned with pain the hip, groin, and legs, swelling, inflammation, and metal toxicity. They have reported limping, an inability to stand and difficulty walking. Doctors are frequently forced to do a second hip revision surgery or another hip replacement after it is determined that the Pinnacle has broken or slipped from the socket.

The Ongoing Litigation

The patients who have had issues with the implants have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, alleging that the company had knowledge of the high risk of side effects with the device and failed to issue a recall or warn the medical community of those risks. They believe that they deserve compensation due to these negligent acts. 

Plaintiffs have also questioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 501(k) process. In this process, a product may forgo safety testing if the manufacturer can show that it is substantially similar to a previously approved device. Many believe that if the Pinnacle was put through regular standard safety testing, it never would have been approved.

The Dangers Of Defective Products

The average American has hundreds of products designed to make life easier in their home, and every day, millions of people are treated with medical devices. Despite the laws regarding regulations and safety standards, defects in these products change the lives of thousands every year.

Products containing defects that frequently cause injuries include:


Issues with cars have been all over the news in recent years, from the issues with brakes that caused an uncontrollable acceleration in Toyotas to the Takata airbag in Hondas. When a person is involved in an auto accident due to a defect or that vehicle defect caused an injury, it may be possible for the victim to obtain compensation for their injuries from the manufacturer.

Medical Devices

The Pinnacle isn’t the only medical device that has had an issue. Transvaginal mesh, pacemakers, and more have been recalled in the past due to the damage the device caused when it was inserted into a patient.

Prescription Drugs

Zofran, Invokana, and Risperdal are all examples of prescription drugs that patients have reported have dangerous side effects, which were often allegedly not reported by the drug’s manufacturer.

Children’s Toys

In the past, companies have faced legal action for the injuries and illnesses that their children have sustained from dangerous toys.

Types Of Product Defectstools used in a court of law

There are three types of defects:

  1. Design Defects – this defect is part of the product from the very beginning before it is even manufactured.
  2. Manufacturing Defect – this defect occurs when the product is being put together.
  3. Marketing Defect – this is when a product is incorrectly labeled, does not have the correct safety warnings, or does not have the correct instructions.

How Do I Know If I Have A Case?

The best way to determine if you have a case is to consult with a product liability lawyer. A lawyer can review your accident and medical records and inform you of all legal options available to you. If you do have a good case, pursuing legal action can ensure that you obtain compensation not just for medical expenses but also for lost earnings, physical pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.

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