December 5, 2016

Johnson & Johnson vows to appeal $1 billion punitive damages award in hip implant case

Last Thursday, a federal jury in Dallas awarded $32 million in compensatory damages and $1 billion in punitive damages to six California plaintiffs who alleged they were injured by defective hip implants made by Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopedics unit.  The company immediately announced its plans to appeal, Reuters reports

Before any appeal, however, it is likely that the trial judge will reduce the punitive damages.  The judge in this case already reduced a big punitive damages award involving the same hip implants.  He ruled in July that a $500 million verdict was excessive, and reduced it to $151 million under Texas state law.

Johnson & Johnson was able to avoid punitive damages when facing similar claims in Los Angeles a few years ago, as we reported at the time.  But now Johnson & Johnson has to contend with this massive award, on top of the three big punitive damages verdicts in the Missouri talc litigation.  2016 has not been a good year for Johnson & Johnson in the courtroom.