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Third J&J Pinnacle Hip Implant Bellwether Lawsuit Heads to Trial

xray of double hip implants

Fresh from a $500 million loss in the second Pinnacle hip bellwether trial in June, Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics division face off against seven cases consolidated into another bellwether trial in the Northern District of Texas.

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade selected seven cases for a trial beginning September 26, 2016. More than 8,500 federal cases are pending in multidistrict litigation (MDL), and these bellwether trials are representative of the claims of the entire MDL.

The cases included in the MDL are:

  • Marvin Andrews (Cause No. 3:15-cv-03484-K)
  • Kathleen Davis (Cause No. 3:15-cv-01767-K)
  • Sandra Llamas (Cause No. 3:13-cv-03804-K)
  • Rosa Metzler (Cause No. 3:12-cv-02066-K)
  • Judith Rodriguez (Cause No. 3:13-cv-3938-K)
  • Lisa Standerfer (Cause No. 3:14-cv-01730-K)
  • Michael Weiser (Cause No. 3:13-cv-03631-K)

The Pinnacle Hip Replacement System first hit the market in 2000. DePuy discontinued it in mid-2013.

Plaintiffs Claim Pinnacle Caused Serious Injuries

Injured by complications related to hip replacements? Get a Free Case Review

Pinnacle hip lawsuits allege that the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant is defective in design, lacked proper testing before hitting the market and that DePuy failed to warn of the risks. Plaintiffs claim the implants led to a number of complications including severe pain, loosening and dislocation.

They also suffered a type of metal poisoning called metallosis — a condition where metal ions cause tissue and bone death as well as neurological and autoimmune symptoms. A number of plaintiffs had revision surgery to remove faulty implants.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs are hopeful that a big verdict in this third trial will spur Johnson & Johnson to settle the remaining cases in the MDL. All other cases in the MDL are on hold until after the trial.

J&J Sought to Delay MDL after $500 M Loss

After the jury delivered its staggering $497.6 million verdict in the second bellwether in May, J&J and DePuy asked the court to put the cases on hold in order to appeal the verdict. They also claimed evidence presented at trial prejudiced them.

“After the first trial … the ‘bellwether’ process lost its information-generating purpose,” J&J said in legal documents. “The MDL court allowed plaintiffs to proceed with novel and far-flung theories, unsupported in law, that will likely recur in most if not all cases in the MDL proceeding.”

Judge Kinkeade refused J&J’s request. He said the company had opportunities to raise issues before but did not.

“Only after losing the second bellwether trial did defendants object to the process,” the judge said in his response. “There are more than 8,000 pending cases in this MDL; the court cannot grant a stay every time plaintiffs win a trial.”

J&J won the first Pinnacle bellwether in October 2014, but it previously settled claims for its DePuy ASR hip implant in 2013 for an estimated amount of $4 billion.

Michelle Llamas, Senior Content Writer
Written By Michelle Llamas Senior Writer

Michelle Llamas has been writing articles and producing podcasts about drugs, medical devices and the FDA for nearly a decade. She focuses on various medical conditions, health policy, COVID-19, LGBTQ health, mental health and women’s health issues. Michelle collaborates with experts, including board-certified doctors, patients and advocates, to provide trusted health information to the public. Some of her qualifications include:

  • Member of American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and former Engage Committee and Membership Committee member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Health Literacy certificates
  • Original works published or cited in The Lancet, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and the Journal for Palliative Medicine

3 Cited Research Articles writers follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, court records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and interviews with qualified experts. Review our editorial policy to learn more about our process for producing accurate, current and balanced content.

  1. United States District Court Northern District of Texas. (n.d.) IN RE: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, 3:11-md-02244-K. Retrieved from
  2. Field, E. (2016, June 13). Judge Won't Stay J&J Hip Implant Trials After $498M Verdict. Retrieved from
  3. Salvatore, C. (2016, July 13). J&J Asks 5th Circ. To Hurry Hip MDL Appeal. Retrieved from
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