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Johnson & Johnson To Pay Over $1 Billion In Artificial Hip Lawsuit

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Johnson & Johnson is not having a good year. A Texas jury has ordered the corporation to pay over $1 billion to patients who alleged that J&J did not fully disclose information on its Pinnacle artificial hips. This led to the device having to be surgically removed.

The federal jury ruled that officials at the company’s DePuy unit, which makes the hip implants, knew that the devices were defective, but withheld this from doctors and patients. The verdict includes more than $30 million in damages for six plaintiffs, plus $1 billion in punitive damages, Bloomberg reports.

J&J already has around 9,000 lawsuits pending on mishandling these artificial hips. The company pulled the devices from the market in 2013 after the US Food and Drug Administration tightened restrictions on hip replacements.

Mark Lanier, attorney for the plaintiffs, said,

The jury is telling J&J that they better settle these cases soon. All they are doing by trying more of these cases is driving up their costs and driving the company’s reputation into the mud.

Mindy Tinsley, a spokesperson for J&J, said that the DePuy unit’s design and testing were proper, and that the companies involved have a strong basis for appeal, and will continue defending the allegations against them.

Company lawyers said that U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade’s rulings prevented J&J from giving the jury a “fair presentation.”

In recent months, the company also came under fire for its talcum powder, and was required to pay out millions in lawsuits – three out of six major cases J&J was involved in this year.

In 2014, J&J won the first case brought against them regarding Pinnacle, when a woman from Montana claimed that the metal hip gave her metal poisoning. In March of this year, however, a jury – also in Texas – awarded $502 million to five patients who claimed that the company had hidden defects in their hip devices. A judge brought the amount down to $150 million.


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