Aoki v. Depuy Orthopaedics Inc.
Case Study 2
Legendary Texas plaintiff attorney Ernest H. Cannon played an important role in what is widely considered a bellwether medical product liability judgment. The case of Aoki v. Depuy Orthopaedics Inc. was one of a group of five product liability cases filed by individuals who had received defective hip implants from DuPuy Orthopaedics Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. More than 7,000 plaintiffs were ultimately represented in these consolidated proceedings against the medical products giant.
Credit: © De Art / Adobe Stock
Under the co-leadership of Ernest Cannon and W. Mark Lanier, the plaintiff side stated that design flaws in the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System hip implant system allowed metal particles to escape from the devices and enter users’ bloodstreams, a phenomenon called metallosis. This infiltration of metal debris led to significant injuries and in some cases necessitated a second hip surgery. Perhaps even more grievously, Johnson & Johnson failed to issue warnings about potential problems with the design, misrepresenting the product to hip patients on a level that amounted to fraud.
Ernest Cannon’s tireless efforts contributed to the court awarding the plaintiffs in the five consolidated cases in compensatory and punitive damages. TopVerdict listed this award as #3 on its list of Top 50 Verdicts in Texas in 2016 (Source).