Injury Lawyer for DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip ImplantJanuary 4, 2017 — A federal judge in Dallas, Texas has cut about $500 million off a $1.04 billion jury award to six people who were injured by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement.

U.S. District Judge Edgar Kinkeade cited “constitutional concerns” in his decision that the jury award was excessive and should be reduced.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court said punitive damages exceeding 9-times the plaintiff’s actual damages were almost always unconstitutional.

Texas also has state laws capping punitive damages, but because all six plaintiffs were from California, those laws did not apply.

Judge Kinkeade did not reduce their compensatory damages. The jury awarded each plaintiff between $4 million and $6 million for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income, disability, and other injuries.

He also did not challenge the jury’s decision that J&J and DePuy failed to warn patients about the safety of metal-on-metal hip implants.

Pinnacle was pulled off the market in 2013 without a recall, just months after the FDA ordered safety studies and issued warnings about metal particles grinding off and causing hip implant failure.

The original jury award included more than $1 billion in punitive damages ($504 million each) to punish both companies for wrongdoing. Each of those punitive verdicts were slashed to 9-times the compensatory award, resulting in a final total of $540 million.

Last year, another jury in Dallas, Texas awarded $500 million to five people who were injured by the Pinnacle hip replacement. Judge Kinkeade cut it down to $150 million in July 2016. He currently presides over another 8,700 Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits in the Northern District of Texas — Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2244).

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