Attorney Mark Lanier: Trials send strong message of accountability to Johnson & Johnson
DALLAS – In 2016, two federal juries in Dallas delivered significant verdicts on behalf of the victims of serious medical complications caused by defective metal-on-metal hip implants made by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and its subsidiary DePuy/J&J Orthopaedics Inc.
Although the court has reduced the amount of punitive damages awarded by the juries in each case, and those judgments are under appeal by The Lanier Law Firm, the two verdicts still total almost $700 million in actual and punitive damages assessed against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy/J&J.
These verdicts marked the second and third bellwether trials among thousands of similar lawsuits nationwide that have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL 3:11-md-0244) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. A bellwether trial is one that is typically representative of all the issues involved in the litigation of a mass tort case.
“The juries listened to the testimony of both sides, and returned verdicts affirming what we’ve known all along: a responsible company would settle these cases and take care of their injured consumers, rather than forcing them through expensive and vexatious litigation just to delay justice,” said lead attorney Mark Lanier of the Lanier Law Firm in Houston. “These juries spoke loud and clear, and I hope J&J will finally listen.”
The Pinnacle implant was designed with a metal, rather than a safer ceramic or polyethylene, socket. The metal-on-metal design causes the socket to rub against the ball head, which can lead to corrosion and can cause bone and surrounding tissue to erode over time. Each of the plaintiffs in the trials had to undergo revision surgeries to replace the implants and repair the damage. Jurors heard testimony that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy/J&J aggressively marketed the implants and employed tactics that included paying kickbacks to surgeons for using the device although they were aware of safer alternatives.
A fourth bellwether trial, which will involve 10 patients, has been scheduled by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade in Dallas for September, 2017.
Members of The Lanier Law Firm trial team included Alex J. Brown, M. Michelle Carreras, Dr. Robert Leone, and Kevin P. Parker. The firm was pleased to work with Richard Arsenault of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault and Jayne Conroy with Simmons Hanly Conroy in gaining this significant verdict.
For more information, please contact J.D. Cargill at 713-659-5200 or [email protected].