A federal jury awarded a $502 million verdict to five recipients of Johnson & Johnson DePuy hip implants on Thursday, at the conclusion of a trial that accused Johnson & Johnson of covering up known flaws in its Pinnacle artificial hip line. The plaintiffs all had Pinnacle hip implant products that failed and required surgery to correct the problem.
This is only the second in approximately 8,000 lawsuits that have been filed against Johnson & Johnson concerning the metal-on-metal design of their hip implants. Patients that had received these appliances were shown to have increased amount of chromium and cobalt in their bloodstreams, presumably as a direct result of the friction on the metal heads of the implants. The plaintiffs asserted that Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential flaws in its design and instead decided to proceed with production, driven by the potential profits the implants could generate.
This motive presented by the prosecution is not far-fetched. In the extremely competitive field of medical devices and implants, speed to market is a crucial factor in maximizing the profit margin for a particular product. Although it does not take as long to receive FDA approval for a medical device compared to pharmaceutical drugs – an average of 12 years versus 5 years – companies also compete simultaneously with their competitors to produce the same medical implant products and do not enjoy the 7-year exclusivity on new medical products that drug manufacturers receive. So clearly, the first company to produce a new product has distinct monetary incentives to do so quickly and as cheaply as possible.
In the rush to produce new innovations, sometimes a company may turn a blind eye to potential defects or problems, or refuse to believe that an issue exists with their product. These situations often lead to undue pain or suffering for victims that have already suffered greatly from their ailments or conditions. They turn to the medical community for help, only to find that the help they receive only makes them sicker.
At the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., we believe that these victims need help to make their voices heard. If you or a loved was injured as a result of a defective medical implant or medical device, please contact us today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
Connect with James O. Cunningham on Google+