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Johnson & Johnson Hit with $1B Hip Replacement Verdict

Friday, January 27, 2017By Richard Alexander

People who need hip replacements expect their lives to improve, not deteriorate. And they certainly don’t expect the device implanted into their bodies to make them ill. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened to many people across the country who received metal-on-metal hip implant devices.

Juries understand this. That’s why they have twice issued huge verdicts holding Johnson & Johnson responsible for injuries caused by these devices, injuries that never had to happen in the first place.

Over 8,000 claims are pending against Johnson & Johnson as a result of the defective hip implants. The victims have suffered from metal poisoning, tissue inflammation and death, and bone damage or erosion (or some combination of these problems).

When this many claims are filed, federal courts sometimes use a procedure called multidistrict litigation to try the cases more efficiently and fairly. They also sometimes use “bellwether” cases to see how juries view the claims. The idea is that both the injured parties and the responsible defendants will get a feel for the value of the claims using the test cases. The federal court system is using both the multidistrict system and bellwether cases in the claims challenging the safety of the metal hip implants.

In the most recent case, a jury awarded $32 million in compensatory damages, along with over $1 billion in punitive damages to six hip implant patients. A jury in an earlier bellwether case awarded $360 million for five hip implant patients.

One would hope that Johnson and Johnson would see the light, deciding to settle the remaining claims for a fair and reasonable value. Instead, the company has indicated that it plans to appeal the verdict, arguing that “the multi-plaintiff format stacked the deck against it by parading a series of victims in front of the jury and exaggerating the number of complaints about the implant.”

Companies who manufacture or sell defective products, including those used in health care, should pay when they hurt innocent people. If you were injured by a defective medical product, the San Francisco personal injury attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP will work with you to procure all possible monetary compensation. Our goal is to help our clients receive proper compensation for their pain and suffering. You can reach one of our San Francisco personal injury attorneys at 888.777.1776. Alternatively, you can use our online contact form and we will get back to you promptly.

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