Federal jury orders Johnson & Johnson pay $500 million in hip implant trial

A federal jury on Friday ordered Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. brand to pay $500 million to five patients who say they suffered injuries using Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement devices.

The decision came down following two months of testimony in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas' Dallas division.

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Jurors determined Johnson & Johnson should pay $142 million in compensatory damages and $360 million in punitive damages.

The trial focused on the cases of five Texas residents who argued defects in the Pinnacle implants “caused metal debris to enter into patients' bloodstreams, causing severe injuries and sometimes leading to revision surgery,” according to the law firm Simmons Hanley Conroy, LLC, which represented some of the plaintiffs.

A spokesman for Johnson & Johnson said the company will appeal the verdict, according to Reuters.

Friday's verdict is not binding but will instead serve as a test of arguments expected in the more than 7,000 remaining Pinnacle lawsuits in Texas federal court.

Johnson & Johnson told The Wall Street Journal it expected punitive damages to be reduced to around $10 million.

“DePuy acted appropriately and responsibly in the design and testing,” of the hip replacements, Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley told the newspaper.

The case is the second in recent years to involve the Pinnacle hip replacements. According to Reuters, Johnson & Johnson was cleared of liability in a separate federal trial that ended in 2014.

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