Five people successful sued Johnson & Johnson for $502 million over improperly designed metal hips. The replacements leaked metal into their bodies and failed prematurely necessitating additional surgeries to correct the problems. The hips in question were marketed under the moniker Pinnacle. The jury was particularly sympathetic by ordering $360 million in punitive damages because Johnson & Johnson tried to hide the flaws in the product.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish bad behavior, like covering up a product's failures and then aggressively marketing them to patients and doctors. These cases are a handful among the 8,000 or so that are pending at trial.
It is also worth noting that Johnson & Johnson entered into a $2.5 billion settlement regarding another one of its artificial hips. Johnson & Johnson stopped manufacturing and selling the Pinnacle hip after the US Food and Drug Administration enacted tougher regulations.
The purpose of a hip replacement or any other such medical device is to alleviate pain and to improve the quality of a person's life. But if a person has a defective medical device surgically implanted, then it could have the opposite effect. And ultimately, a patient could be left in a condition that is worse than prior to the surgery.
If you were injured due to a failed medical device then you may want to speak to an attorney. Failed medical devices are scary because they implicate your health and your very life. These devices undergo rigorous testing to ensure that there are no design flaws when they go to patients. Depending upon the extent of your injuries, you may require surgeries, therapies and it could cause permanent damage. An attorney can get you the compensation you need to move on with your life.
Source: Findlaw, "Suing Over Flawed Metal Hips Used in Replacements," Ephrat Livni, May 25, 2016