The next few weeks are pivotal for healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as the third Pinnacle hip implant case goes to trial in Texas. The company is facing seven plaintiffs who allege the company failed to warn them of the high rates of failure associated with the Pinnacle hip implant.
The Pinnacle hip implant hit the market in the U.S. in 2000 and was manufactured until the company discontinued the model in 2013. Despite being on the market for more than 10 years, the Pinnacle implant had quite a few defects many plaintiffs experienced first hand.
The artificial joints contained metal components that would grind against each other and cause serious complications, including severe joint pain, loosening, and dislocation. Patients with the defective hip implants were forced to undergo additional surgeries to replace the defective devices.
In addition to device failure, the Pinnacle hip caused a condition called metallosis. Metallosis is a metal poisoning occurring when metal ions from the device cause tissue and bone death. In some cases, metallosis can cause neurological and autoimmune symptoms.
The stakes are incredibly high for the company in the third trial. The second trial concluded this past May and awarded a massive $502 million in damages to six plaintiffs; the company could see another multimillion-dollar verdict in the third trial. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, the company still faces 8,500 lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation.
But its not just the hip implant trial that likely has J&J worried. The company is simultaneously facing the fourth baby powder cancer trial, which also cost the company a couple multimillion-dollar verdicts. The company is currently facing more than 1,200 baby powder lawsuits, with many more cases currently being investigated.
Both the Pinnacle hip implant and baby powder cancer trials are scheduled to take between three and four weeks.