Product-producing giant Johnson & Johnson, along with its DePuy unit, lost a $500 million verdict in a case involving five plaintiffs who alleged they were injured by defective hip implants. Specifically, the Pinnacle metal-on-metal implants, which are known to not only fail more quickly than advertised, but to cause serious injury in the form of tissue damage, bone erosion and high levels of metal in patients’ blood.
The decision followed a two-month trial and a one-week juror deliberation period. Jurors ultimately decided these artificial hips were not only defectively designed, but that the companies that sold them did not warn the public about the potential risk, as they had a duty to do.
This prompted jurors to award not just $140 million in compensatory damages, but an additional $360 million in punitive damages. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the victim. Punitive damages, which are also paid to the victim(s), are intended to punish the defendant for egregious behavior and gross negligence. Continue reading