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PHARMACEUTICAL LIABILITY

DePuy/J&J Hip Implant Litigation

Medical devices are meant to improve longevity and quality of life. Doctors and patients rely on medical device manufacturers to provide safe, effective products with full disclosure of the risks and benefits so that doctors can deliver quality care and patients can make informed decisions.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives hundreds of thousands of reports every year of deaths, serious injuries and malfunctions concerning medical devices. Manufacturers that provide unsafe products to the public are liable when patients are harmed.

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics, have a long history of harming patients through their defective hip implants. The pharmaceutical liability attorneys at The Lanier Law Firm stand up to large pharmaceutical companies on behalf of innocent individuals.

Harm Caused by DePuy’s Hip Implants

DePuy/J&J’s hip implants were constructed with a metal-on-metal design, which, when rubbed together, could create metal shavings. According to the FDA, these shavings can cause the following issues:

DePuy/J&J marketed and sold a product it knew could cause these problems without warning the public. Below are just a few examples of the ill effects our clients experienced:

hip implant

Deceptive Marketing Practices

DePuy/J&J knew its products were harmful, but rather than develop a safer product, the company heavily marketed the product and deliberately withheld information from doctors and patients about the risks associated with using its products.

Fraud

DePuy/J&J failed to provide adequate warnings about its products’ risks and went to such lengths to conceal this information that one verdict found that this rose to the level of fraud. The court also determined the fraud was aided and abetted by the parent company, Johnson & Johnson.

Fraudulent Marketing Techniques

The aggressive marketing tactics employed by Johnson & Johnson and DePuy/J&J included the following:

hip implant

The Lanier Law Firm’s Successful Litigation History Against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy/J&J

2010 Recall of ASR-Branded Products

In August of 2010, Johnson & Johnson announced that two hip replacement products, the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, were recalled after more than 10 percent of patients required corrective surgeries within five years of their initial hip replacement procedures. More than 93,000 patients had purchased these products, netting over $5 billion in sales in 2009 alone.

Due to the high volume of cases, the cases were consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL). The case was In re: DePuy/J&J Orthopaedics Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2197). The Houston and Los Angeles offices of The Lanier Law Firm provided national coordination for the case and represented 100 clients across 30 states and overseas.

2011 MDL Against DePuy/J&J

Thousands of lawsuits regarding DePuy/J&J’s Pinnacle hip implants were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The case is In Re: DePuy/J&J Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL 2244).

2013 Removal of Hip Liners from the Market

These products had been sold from 2002 to 2012 until DePuy/J&J pulled the metal liners off the market in 2013. The hip implant systems were never recalled.

2016 Bellwether Verdicts in the Pinnacle Implants MDL

In two of the early bellwether trials, Texas juries awarded $502 million to our clients from Texas and more than $1 billion to our clients from California. Law360 reported that these awards included pain and suffering damages and loss of consortium for four spouses. 

These were later reduced to $150 million and $543 million. Mark Lanier, founder of The Lanier Law Firm, responded to the verdict as follows: 

“Once again, a jury has listened to the testimony of both sides and returned a verdict 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. This jury spoke loud and clear, and I hope J&J will finally listen.”

In addition to Mark Lanier, the members of the trial team included the following attorneys from The Lanier Law Firm:

The firm also collaborated with two other law firms, including Ernest Cannon Law.