Closing arguments were heard today in the case of a metal-on-metal hip implant patient, Loren Kransky, who claims the company designed a defective device and failed to warn patients and surgeons about the risk associated with the implant. In the first of 10,750 lawsuits over a recall metal hip implant, hit attorney argued that Johnson & Johnson’s desire for profits caused them to sell a defective device. His attorney stated that the company failed to warn patients about the device before all 93,000 units were recalled. As few as 12% of the devices were failing within five years of getting them implanted, leading to hazardous replacement surgeries. The rate of failure rose to 44% last year in Australia, according to news reports.
The company continually denies creating a defective device or failing to warn others about the many risks associated with them. They could pay billions of dollars to resolve the many lawsuits. Jurors were asked by the victim’s attorney to award the victim with $338,000 for medical expenses and $5 million for pain and suffering. His legal team also argues that punitive damages of $72 million to $179 million should be imposed on DePuy, or a total of 2-5% of the company’s entire worth. The legal team stated that DePuy needs to accept responsibility for their wrongdoings. Before it was sold in 2005 throughout the United States, his attorney argues they ignored complaints from several major surgeons about problems with the device. The company covered up the truth, rather than address the issues that surgeons were discovering with the device, the attorney stated. The company needs a definite message delivered to them from the justice system, and other companies can learn from them to prevent this from happening again. DePuy, the orthopedic division of J&J, became more influenced by the desire to earn more money, explained the attorney.