A federal judge overseeing more than 8,000 Pinnacle hip lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary has rejected the company’s bid to delay the litigation’s third bellwether trial. According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, the company wanted the third trial stayed while it appeals the verdict rendered in the  proceeding’s 2nd bellwether case.

Third Pinnacle Bellwether Trial Scheduled for September

Court records indicate that more than 8,000 product liability claims have been filed in the Northern District of Texas on behalf of individuals who suffered premature implant failure and other complications allegedly associated with a metal-on-metal version of the Pinnacle Hip Replacement System that utilized the Ultamet liner. The next bellwether trial is scheduled for September 6th and involves seven plaintiffs.

In arguing that the case should be stayed until its appeal is decided, DePuy asserted that the judge overseeing the massive litigation had abused the  bellwether process and allowed“the injection of all manner of irrelevant and highly inflammatory evidence.” However, the Court did not agree.

“[T]he Court warned defendants on numerous occasions that if they presented certain defenses, plaintiffs would be permitted to introduce evidence to refute it,” the July 5th Order noted. “Defendants, not plaintiffs, opened the door to the evidence defendants now claim was error to admit.

“Defendants are asking for a stay that is inconsistent with the agreed-upon bellwether trial plan and is unjustified based on a balancing of interests. This MDL has already been pending for 5 years. The representative plaintiffs in the consolidated bellwether trial this year averaged 68 years old,” the Court continued “The court believes that a stay would unduly prejudice plaintiffs and delay resolution of this matter to the detriment of all parties. Exercising its judgment, weighing the competing interests, and maintaining an even balance, the court finds that the bellwether trials should proceed as originally agreed.”

The second Pinnacle trial ended in March, with $140 million in compensatory damages and  $360 million in punitive damages awarded to five plaintiffs. Following two weeks of testimony, jurors hearing the case determined that the Ultamet configuration was defectively designed, and that DePuy had failed to provide doctors and patients with appropriate warnings about its risks. However, in a second Order dated July 5th, the Court reduced punitive damages to $10 million, so a to comply with the Texas cap on such awards.

DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit Reviews

Bernstein Liebhard LLP provides free legal reviews to individuals who suffered serious complications allegedly related to the all-metal version of the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant. To learn more, please call 877-779-1414.

Published July 18, 2016 by