April 26th, 2018
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Christopher v. Johnson & Johnson
Dockets: 16-11051, 16-11052, 16-11053, 16-11054, 16-11056, 17-10030, 17-10031, 17-10032, 17-10034, 17-10035
Opinion Date: April 25, 2018
Judge: Jerry Edwin Smith
Areas of Law: Personal Injury, Products Liability
These appeals and cross-appeal stemmed from the Pinnacle Hip multidistrict litigation (MDL). After plaintiffs received Pinnacle's metal-on-metal design, suffered complications, and required revision surgery, plaintiffs secured a half-billion-dollar jury verdict. Both plaintiffs and defendants appealed. The Fifth Circuit held that only a few of plaintiffs' claims failed as a matter of law but that the district court's evidentiary errors and plaintiff's counsel's deceptions furnished independent grounds for a new trial. In this case, counsel concealed payments to two key expert witnesses. Therefore, DePuy was entitled to judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on Greer's and Peterson's defective marketing claims; J&J was entitled to JMOL on all plaintiffs' aiding-and-abetting claims; and the remaining claims avoided JMOL, although a new trial was required.
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