According to LAW 360, a Texas federal jury on Thursday unanimously cleared Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopedics Inc. unit of accusations it manufactured a dangerous and defective metal-on-metal hip implant, in a bellwether trial over the company's Pinnacle device.
Hi. Bill Kershaw and I are the partners responsible for the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip cases.
We are providing an update on the DePuy Pinnacle trial that was pending in federal court in Dallas, Texas. This was the very first case to be tried in front of a jury in the country; there about 6,000 cases still pending against DePuy by people who were injured by their Pinnacle hips. We learned today the jury awarded a verdict in favor of the defendants, J&J’s DePuy. This means the plaintiffs lost the case and will receive nothing. Many people are wondering how this happened.
Following the trial, I think the plaintiffs put on a very good case; this was a defective hip, it was not adequately tested, and put on the market too soon. DePuy was really motivated more by profit than the safety of their device and patients. In order to win, plaintiffs would have to prove the bad hip caused damages. Unfortunately, this case had “causation issues” and possibly resulted in the case falling apart.
Closing arguments in the DePuy Pinnacle Trial started today, October 21, 2014. Closing arguments are essentially where each side, plaintiffs and defendants, summarize the evidence put forth at trial and argue their case to the jury.
In this case, Mark Lanier, the plaintiff’s attorney, will likely argue that DePuy was at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries and the jury should award her damages accordingly.
On the other hand, the defendants will likely argue that the plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by the Pinnacle implant but rather caused by negligence from her doctor, or other factors, and should deny recovery.
Monday, October 13th was Columbus Day and the courts were closed.
On Tuesday, October 14th, the defendants called Dr. Roger Emerson, an Orthopedic Independent Medical Examiner, to the stand.
Dr. Emerson returned to the stand on Wednesday, October 15th. His testimony was followed by Dr. Math, an orthopedic radiologist.
Andrew Ekdahl, the ex-president of Johnson & Johnson's DePuy unit, returned to the stand via video deposition on Thursday, October 16th. He was followed by Dr. Lisa Pruitt, defense witness, and a mechanical and biomedical engineer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. Her testimony will resume Monday, October 20th.