We can’t win every case. Everyone knew that. Johnson & Johnson won a hip implant case. The Plaintiff, a 54 year old nurse, received her implant in 2008. It was replaced three years later. The jury was clearly very split.
The jury was told about the chromium and cobalt implant that shed metal into the Plaintiff’s body, poisoning her tissue and sending metal ions into her blood dream. But, in the end, Plaintiff’s case was not strong enough for all twelve jurors to agree, according to one juror. The majority were for DePuy, with a minority siding with the Plaintiff. But, after sending a note to the Judge inquiring if they must be unanimous, the Jury came back with a defense verdict.
Johnson & Johnson recalled the defective implants in August 2010, after 93,000 were sold. Data last year showed 44% failed in Australia within seven years. Analysts have said that the cases could cost J&J billions of dollars. The cost of the first defective case? $8.3 million. The cost of the second case? $0 – well, $0 in verdict dollars anyway.
I don’t think this significantly diminishes the settlement value of these claim. I really don’t. I do think it increases the likelihood of early settlements. J&J may want to go out on a high note when it comes to the bellwether cases to be tried before getting serious about mass settlements. We will see…