Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) yesterday won an appeal in a ruling that had previously awarded $151 million to five individuals who claimed they had injuries due to company’s Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant, according to a new Reuters report.
The ruling came down from the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which said that the defective marketing claims of two plaintiffs in the case were legally insufficient and called for a new trial, according to the report.
The judgement was based on a previous judge’s evidentiary rulings and “deceptions” from the plaintiff’s lawyers, Reuters reports. US Circuit Judge Jerry Smith wrote for the three-judge appellate panel saying that US District Judge Ed Kinkeade had also erred by allowing the lawyers to present “inflammatory character evidence” about Johnson & Johnson.
The most problematic evidence identified by Smith were claims that J&J paid bribes to “henchmen” of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, which emerged from a 2011 $70 million agreement from J&J to resolve US foreign bribery probes, according to the report.
The judge went on to claim that two plaintiffs in the case had presented no evidence that their treating doctors had encountered supposedly inadequate warnings about the Pinnacle implants.
The plaintiff’s lead lawyer, Mark Lanier, rebutted the claims saying that the court “misunderstood” the issues and that they would seek a retrial as quickly as possible, according to Reuters.
J&J DePuy unit lawyer John Beisner commented that the ruling correctly identified errors in the trial that made it “impossible for defendants to get a fair trial.”
In March, An Indiana jury hit Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon with a $35 million verdict in a product liability lawsuit brought over its Prolift pelvic mesh.