Thursday, January 5, 2017

J&J $1B hip implant verdict cut in half by Dallas judge

Image result for depuy hip implant
 J&J $1B hip implant verdict cut in half by Dallas judge

by John Counciil// NJ Law Journal

A Dallas federal judge has slashed a $1.04 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson nearly in half, a month after a jury punished the company over a hip implant device made by its DePuy Orthopaedics division.
It took the jury less than a day on Dec. 1 to issue the billion dollar award to six plaintiffs after concluding that Johnson & Johnson misled them and their doctors about the safety of the Pinnacle hip implant.
U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade on late Tuesday issued final judgments in those six cases that reduced the total award to $540 million — a cut that sliced the plaintiffs' punitive damages awards in half but left compensatory damages untouched.
To justify the reduction, Kinkeade cited the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision in State Farm v. Campbell, which holds that the due process clause usually limits punitive damages to less than ten times the size of compensatory damages.
Mark Lanier of Houston's The Lanier Law Firm said he respects Kinkeade's decision but filed an immediate notice of appeal challenging the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
"He's a conservative judge but he's a fair judge," Lanier said. "I'm appealing this because $500 million just disappeared in a puff of smoke. I think the judge is being conservative but I don't think that the law is that conservative. We'll just see what happens.''

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