Jury in DePuy lawsuit finds hip replacement defective and awards $8.3 million

by Eric Pearson

A Los Angeles, California jury on March 8, 2012 found that DePuy, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, defectively designed and negligently manufactured its ASR XL artificial hip. After a two-week trial, the jury awarded $8.3 million in damages to Loren Kransky.

After receiving a metal hip implant in 2007, Kransky complained about dislocations, constant pain, and having to receive follow-up surgeries. His implant was removed in 2012.

Kransky’s lawyers argued that DePuy not only failed to properly test the device before it sold the device, but also hid complaints from surgeons about hip implant failures. The company even considered redesigning the hip in light of known problems while continuing to sell the defective hip, Kransky’s lawyers alleged.

Jurors in Los Angeles found that J&J’s DePuy unit was negligent in designing the hip implant. However, jurors also found that the company had properly warned consumers of the risks of using the hip, and did not find that the company owed punitive damages.

Kransky had sought $5.3 million in compensatory damages and $179 million in punitive damages. The jury awarded Kransky $338,136 to cover his medical expenses and an additional $8 million for pain and emotional suffering.

After Friday’s verdict, one juror said he’d wanted to award punitive damages based on evidence that DePuy allegedly knew about the problems and did not resolve the issues immediately. However, other jury members apparently did not agree.

After five years of selling ASR hip implants, J&J recalled them in 2010. Now, some 10,750 lawsuits are pending against the health care product giant.

The Kransky decision is certainly good news for the other plaintiffs, as they now see that a jury has found J&J negligent for its design, and valued a recipient’s injuries at more than $8 million. Other courts may cite the Kransky decision to find negligence, and simply review the specific injuries claimed in other lawsuits to determine a damage award in those cases.

For its part, J&J vows to appeal the finding that there was a design defect with its ASR hip implants. The second J&J DePuy hip implant lawsuit is set to begin Monday in Chicago, Bloomberg reports.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have extensive experience litigating defective pharmaceutical and medical device lawsuits. In fact, we recently have resolved nearly 200 claims against Johnson & Johnson relating to their defective medical products. To receive a free legal consultation and find out if you are eligible to file a case, please call our toll-free number at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free case evaluation form located on this page.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.