Court Orders J&J to Pay $247 Million in Defective Hip Implant Case


ohnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $247 million to half a dozen patients who claimed the company hid defects in its Pinnacle artificial hips, its third big-dollar loss over the products.

Officials of the company’s DePuy unit, which makes the hips, knew the devices were defective but failed to properly warn doctors and patients about the risk they would prematurely fail, a Dallas jury ruled Thursday. The panel awarded a total of $79 million in actual damages and $168 million in punitive damages to a group of six New York residents whose hips had to be surgically removed.

The number of lawsuits accusing J&J and DePuy of mishandling the metal-on-metal hips has grown by more than 13 percent over the past year, to 9,900, according to a regulatory filing. J&J stopped selling the devices in 2013 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration toughened artificial-hip regulations.

“These companies’ behaviors were so reprehensive that it demands repeated punishment,” Mark Lanier, a lawyer for the hip recipients, said after the verdict. Lanier won the previous two verdicts against J&J and DePuy.

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