DALLAS – U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade awarded $245 million to six plaintiffs who successfully sued Johnson & Johnson and other companies for damages caused by defective hip implants. Individual payments range from $36 million to more than $48 million.
The final judgment was entered Aug. 29 in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas.
Johnson & Johnson owns DePuy Orthopaedics. There are thousands of DePuy lawsuits still circulating through the federal court system. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants knew that they were selling a defective product but instead of recalling the troublesome hip replacement device, the company slowly stopped making that model.
A jury found the plaintiffs' arguments to be convincing. In November 2017, a jury awarded the plaintiffs $247 million. They eventually agreed to accept a smaller amount after a private insurance company stepped up to pay $1.2 million in medical expenses.
The original jury awarded the plaintiffs $90 million in punitive damages. Kinkeade left the amount intact.
According to DrugWatch, Karen Kirschner will receive the largest award. She was granted $48.6 million while Eugene Stevens, who was awarded $36.8 million, will receive the smallest payout. The amounts were determined by the extent of their injuries. Their pain and suffering were considered in conjunction with their medical expenses.
The DePuy hip replacements at the center of the lawsuits are metal-on-metal devices. Metallic ions entered patients’ bloodstreams when the metal of the hip joint rubbed against the metal socket. In some cases, this led to severe complications.
The plaintiffs’ case was part of a multidistrict litigation comprised of more than 9,000 DePuy Orthopaedics lawsuits. Juries have so far awarded more than $1.7 billion in damages. However, a significant amount was chopped off during the appeals process. Total verdicts are now worth $938 million, according to DrugWatch.