When buying goods, people operate under the presumption that what they’re buying will be of a certain minimum quality and dependability. But what happens when a product, or an entire series of products, are defective because of manufacturing process that was used or because they were otherwise improperly made? The unassuming purchaser may be wrongfully injured or killed because of such a defect. This is especially true when the device is of a medical or surgical nature. While medical science has developed enough to allow us to replace some defective body parts with prosthetics, the prosthetic being used must be of the highest quality and caliber in order to avoid future complications for the patient. When other concerns, such as making large corporate profits, take precedence over making a safe, reliable product, customers can be seriously harmed, and the negligent manufacturer may be ordered to compensate them for their injuries.
This is what happened to Johnson & Johnson recently as a result of their DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement devices. During a hip replacement, the surgeon removes the damaged sections of a person’s hip joint and replaces them with parts that are usually constructed of metal and very hard plastic. This artificial joint (prosthesis) helps reduce the patient’s pain and improves functionality; the surgery often performed if a person has severe Rheumatoid Arthritis or Osteoarthritis, i.e. wear-and-tear arthritis. It is obviously imperative that the hip replacement and its components parts are properly manufactured and assembled, as the only way to remove or adjust them is through invasive surgery. There are, however, over 7,000 plaintiffs across the country who are suing Johnson & Johnson alleging that their metal hip replacements are defective and cause them considerable pain and discomfort.
Five of the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit together in Texas after they alleged that their DePuy Pinnacle implants were defective. The lawsuit specifies that the DePuy implants caused metal debris to enter into patients’ bloodstreams, causing severe injuries and sometimes leading to revision surgery. During the trial, it was also revealed that Johnson & Johnson officials paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to orthopedic surgeons to use and recommend this product and forged testing results to make the product appear safer than it actually was. According to Lawyersandsettlements.com, the court found that Johnson & Johnson’s recklessness caused the plaintiffs’ injuries and ordered them to pay a total of $142 million in personal injury damages to compensate the victims for their pain and suffering, as well as their considerable medical expenses due to additional surgeries. The court was particularly upset regarding how Johnson & Johnson used bribery and deception to sell their product, and ordered them to pay an additional $360 million in punitive damages due to the callousness of their behavior.
Have you or a loved one been injured because of a defective product? If so, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for your physical injuries, as well as any emotional trauma and lost wages. The Law Offices of Gilbert R. Hoy, Jr. and Affiliates has spent decades skillfully representing injured clients, helping them get millions of dollars in personal injury damages. Please call our Boston accident attorneys 24/7 at 617-787-3700 or email us at [email protected] for your free and private consultation.