Johnson & Johnson is company many consumers associate with baby shampoo and Band-Aids. While it is true the company makes these products, the firm’s real profits come from the fact that it is a major pharmaceutical manufacturer as well as major maker of medical devices and durable medical equipment (DME), such as artificial hips and knee implants.
The company owns another company known as DePuy, and that company is a major producer of hip joints, including many that have been found to be defective. According to a news article from Fox News, a jury in Dallas has just awarded victims of the Pinnacle hip implant over $1 billion in damages.
As our Boston defective hip injury lawyers have seen in various cases, DePuy Orthopedics manufactured a total hip replacement device known as the Pinnacle or Pinnacle ASR artificial hip implant. This implant was designed differently than many other hip implants already on the market.
In most cases, artificial hip implants are designed out of ceramic, cement, or some type of polymers. There can be a metal core, including a metal anchor spike that is drilled into the femur bone, but there is not typically a metal joint that fits into a metal socket. The reason for this is that metal-on-metal can lead to friction that can lead to a breakdown.
However, the DePuy Pinnacle hip featured a complete metal-on-metal construction. This resulted in a joint that had friction when the ball and socket interacted and that caused small shards of metal to come off the artificial hip implant. These shards caused various medical problems. In some cases, the metal shards would enter the patient’s blood stream resulting in a type of poisoning that is known as metalosis.
In other cases, the metal shards would become embedded in the victim’s skin causing a considerable amount of pain and suffering. In other cases, the device would start to knock back and forth because the joint was no longer smooth. This resulted in more pain and suffering and would sometimes result in a total joint failure. For this reason, if you have had a DePuy artificial hip implant, or any other artificial hip implant device, and you were told that you need to have another operation to replace the device, you should contact an experienced products liability attorney as soon as possible.
While these devices are not built to last forever and may need to be replaced between 15 and 20 years after having the first operation, if the devices fails only a few years after you had it implanted, there is a significant chance that the device itself was defective. Since we are dealing with an actual defect in the artificial hip joint, it doesn’t matter how skilled the surgeon is or how many procedures he or she had performed before your operation. The results can only be as good as the device will allow them to be, and defective device is the basis for a products liability lawsuit.
If you are the victim of Massachusetts product liability, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $1 billion settlement, December 2, 2016, CNN Wire Service, Fox News 6
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J&J Fires Back on Pelvic Mesh Marketing Lawsuit, July 15, 2016, Boston Product Liability Attorney Blog