When the third Pinnacle hip implant trial began last week, lawyers for Johnson & Johnson (J&J) wasted no time trying to postpone the trial by calling for a mistrial just minutes into the trial’s proceedings. U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade immediately denied the motion and set a strict tone for the rest of the proceedings.
Last Wednesday began with testimony from DePuy Orthopedics CEO, Andrew Ekdahl, who aggressively refuted the plaintiffs’ claims that the companies’ Pinnacle hip implant was unreasonably dangerous. Mr. Ekdahl eventually admitted to the jury that advertisements for the Pinnacle hip implant were misleading because they did not clarify the claims presented within the advertisement.
Mr. Ekdahl’s testimony drew another demand by J&J for a mistrial, which was again denied by Judge Kinkeade. Shortly after Mr. Ekdahl’s testimony concluded, the plaintiffs switched topics to discuss a deferred prosecution agreement regarding DePuy paying illegal kickbacks to surgeons. The topic immediately drew a third request for mistrial from J&J, which was just as quickly denied.
The last Pinnacle hip implant trial saw a total of seven mistrial motions, and the third trial is well on its way to surpassing this number. Lawyers for the company are likely desperate to postpone the trial because their appeal of the previous Pinnacle hip implant trial is still waiting to be heard by an appeals court. The previous hip implant trial resulted in a $502 million verdict for the plaintiffs.
Lawyers for J&J are incredibly busy this week, as the company also faces the fourth baby powder trial in St. Louis. Both the Pinnacle hip implant and baby powder cancer litigations have proven costly to the company with several multimillion dollar verdicts this year. Other litigations that are quickly shaping up to be costly for the company include the diabetes medication Invokana, the blood thinner Xarelto, and the antipsychotic Risperdal.