The recent consolidated bellwether trial of the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant multi-district litigation concluded on Thursday, March 17, 2016, with a whopping $502 million verdict against defendants DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. Following months of trial in the Northern District of Texas, the jury found in favor of all eight plaintiffs — five hip implantees and three spouses — who alleged that they were injured as a result of defective Pinnacle Ultamet Hip Implants. This stands in sharp contrast to an earlier Pinnacle multi-district litigation trial which resulted in a defense verdict in October of 2014. Herlihy-Paoli v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al, N.D. Tex. Case No. 3:12-cv-04975.
Here, the jury found that DePuy was strictly liable for design defects and defective warnings, while Johnson & Johnson was held liable under theories of negligent undertaking and aiding and abetting. Interestingly, though, the jury concluded that Johnson & Johnson did not have actual knowledge of the defects at the time they supplied the hip implants to the plaintiffs. Regardless, the jury found that both defendants were grossly negligent and engaged in fraud, resulting in the award of $360 million in punitive damages — $120 million against DePuy and $240 million against Johnson & Johnson. For detailed breakdowns of the verdict, click HERE. All other cases in the multi-district litigation are currently stayed pending further Order of the Court following completion of bellwether trials or for good cause shown.
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