An Indiana man has filed suit against the maker of an artificial hip implant, claiming that the implant has left him in constant pain and needed to be replaced after implantation. The suit, filed in December, came only a few days after a jury decided to award a massive damage amount in a case involving the same device.

Billion Dollar Decision

The jury decided to award more than $1 billion in damages to six plaintiffs who sued Johnson & Johnson (J&J) over its Pinnacle hip implant. There have been complaints for years that the device causes problems in patients. It allegedly breaks down, releasing toxic amounts of metal debris into the body. Patients have complained of many side effects, including constant pain, mood swings, hearing loss, and vision problems.

J&J’s DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary already faces lawsuits from more than 10,000 individuals over problems with its artificial hip implants. The suit ruled on in December is one of four “bellwether” cases being used to determine how the rest should proceed.

So far, three cases have been resolved, two in favor of the plaintiffs and one in favor of J&J. A month after the most recent ruling, the judge in the case cut the award in half, noting that the massive punitive damages component (all but $32 million of the $1.041 billion total) might not be allowed by law. The judge, however, did not dispute any of the negligence found by the jury.

Record of Problems

This isn’t the first problem J&J and DePuy have had with hip implants. Their ASR XL device was recalled in 2010, and the company set aside $2.5 billion for potential damage payments to patients. They’re also not the only hip implant manufacturer to have problems. Devices from at least three other manufacturers have also prompted recalls and lawsuits.

Consumer Reports has cautioned those considering hip replacement surgery to do their homework before scheduling the procedure.

Indiana Defective Medical Device Lawyer

Advances in science and technology have allowed great strides in medical treatment. No procedure or device is perfect, however.

When you are harmed by a defective medical device, turn to a firm with experience. Wilson Kehoe Winingham has worked on defective medical device cases for years, and we’re ready to put our knowledge and experience to work for you. Give us a call today at 317-920-6400 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.

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