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Texas Jury Orders Johnson & Johnson to Pay More than $1 Billion

Pinnacle Hip Implants Found to Be Defective

On December 1, 2016, a federal jury in Dallas returned a verdict against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics, holding that the company’s Pinnacle hip implant was negligently designed, that the company knew of risks associated with the product, and that the company failed to adequately warn consumers of those risks. The jury awarded six plaintiffs damages in excess of $1 billion—$32 million in compensatory damages and $1 billion in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson had rejected a $1.8 million dollar settlement offer before trial.

The plaintiffs, who are California residents, say they suffered serious injury after receiving the DePuy product, including bone erosion and tissue death. They allege that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy falsely advertised that the Pinnacle hip implant, with its metal-on-metal design, was more durable and had a greater life than competing products that use plastic or ceramic parts.

Though plaintiff’s attorneys laud the verdict as a “loud and clear” message that Johnson & Johnson needs to address the legal issues related to the Pinnacle implant, most legal experts don’t see any movement any time soon. Attorneys for both companies say they will appeal the verdict and will ask the appeals court to suspend any further trials related to the hip implant.

The company faces more than 8,000 lawsuits tied to the device, all of which have been consolidated in the federal court in Texas. Last week’s verdict was the third “test case” regarding liability for the Pinnacle device. Johnson & Johnson was found not liable in the first case, but were hit with a $500 million jury award in the second trial. That verdict was subsequently reduced to $151 million, based on Texas law.

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Wood Flooring from Lumber Liquidators Can Cause Cancer

You would never expect that your beautiful new wood flooring could potentially cause serious harm to you and your family. But, earlier this month, the Center for Disease Control released a report stating that certain laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators contains excessive amounts of formaldehyde. Exposure to the flooring could cause cancer, complications with asthma or COPD, and irritation to a person’s eyes, nose, and throat. You can find the CDC report online at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/laminateflooring/default.html.
Formaldehyde is commonly used in the flooring industry as a binding agent, but there are strict limits on how much of the chemical can be used. The CDC report confirms a 60 Minutes investigation that found Lumber Liquidators’ laminate flooring exceeds these limits and that the Chinese factories supplying the flooring mislabeled the products as meeting stringent health standards.
Although the laminate top is meant to contain the formaldehyde typically used, the excessive amount found in the Lumber Liquidators laminate flooring escapes and puts people at risk. According to Denny Larson, the expert consulted in the 60 Minutes investigative report, the risk is made greater due to the fact that you are living with it on a daily basis. “You’re in a chamber so you’re living with it. You’re sleeping in there. And you’re constantly exposed. That’s the threat. The constant exposure to a potent carcinogen …”
The CDC “strongly stress[es] taking steps to reduce exposures, which should alleviate respiratory and eye, nose and throat irritation. These steps should also reduce the cancer risk.” The only way to reduce your exposure is to remove the risk.
If you purchased and installed Lumber Liquidators laminate wood flooring, you should contact us immediately. Together, we can determine your potential risk and we can help you recover your economic damages to rip out and replace the dangerous flooring.