LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A jury Friday awarded $8.3 million to a former prison guard who accused Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopedics subsidiary of knowingly marketing a faulty hip implant that was later recalled.
Jurors found that the ASR XL implant was defectively designed and caused metal poisoning and other health problems suffered by Loren Kransky after he underwent surgery in 2007.
However, the panel rejected the 65-year-old's claim that DePuy failed to adequately warn of the risks associated with the implant, and it didn't find the company acted with malice, prohibiting Kransky from collecting any punitive damages.
The fraud and negligence suit is the first of nearly 11,000 similar cases involving an all-metal ball-and-socket hip joint that was pulled from the market two years ago to reach trial in the United States. Others like Kransky claim the implants have left them with crippling injuries or in need of other replacement surgeries.
Johnson & Johnson has set aside about $1 billion to cover costs of the recall and lawsuits.
Plaintiff's attorney Doug Saeltzer said the verdict bodes well for the other cases.
"The message is that these cases are valid, that the injuries are real and severe, and Johnson & Johnson and DePuy have to pay significant money for their mistakes," Saeltzer said.
Loire Gawreluk, a DePuy spokeswoman, said the Warsaw, Ind., company plans to appeal the verdict.
"We believe ASR XL was properly designed, and that DePuy's actions concerning the product were appropriate and responsible," she said.
During the trial, Kransky's lawyers told jurors that black pieces of metal flaked off the implant and caused a type of poisoning that could have killed him if the material had not been removed.
Brian Panish, one of Kransky's attorneys, said during closing arguments that the company "knew this hip was defective long before Mr. Kransky got it," the Los Angeles Times reported.
"They wanted to play Russian roulette with patients. This defendant didn't care about patient safety," Panish said.
Defense attorneys denied Kransky's claims and argued he had a host of pre-existing health ailments and the hip implant didn't make him worse.
The hip joint was sold for eight years to more than 90,000 people worldwide. New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson stopped making the product in 2009 and recalled it the next year.
The artificial part is meant to replace deteriorated joints causing severe pain and limiting mobility, and is generally expected to last 10 to 20 years. With the DePuy hip implant, one in eight patients needed theirs replaced within five years.
Attorneys representing the patients claim J&J knew about the problems in 2008. The company has denied those allegations.
Johnson & Johnson, the world's biggest provider of health care products, has issued more than 30 product recalls since 2009. Most have involved nonprescription medicines such as adult and children's Tylenol and Motrin, but other recalls were for prescription drugs for conditions such as epilepsy or for contact lenses.
Johnson & Johnson shares rose 40 cents to $78.15 Friday.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Indiana residents receiving food stamps will begin receiving their monthly benefits on new dates under a state law approved earlier this year.
An Indiana teenager honored for helping save two children from icy waters in 2010 has died in a weekend shooting.
Police have identified a person of interest in Sunday’s stabbing outside of a home on Bluebird Court, off of St. Joe Road.
Police are looking for a white man who is 6'0" to 6'2" with a thin build they say robbed a CVS in November. He may have been driving a gray or dark green Ford SUV.
Police from several agencies have responded to multiple crashes overnight due to slick roads from a wintry mix that moved through the area late Sunday and early Monday morning.
A rural Angola man faces six felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman.
A local family wants help in making sure their loved one's murderer stays in prison.
Police said a man barricaded himself inside of a home on Genessee Avenue early Sunday morning for more than two hours after threatening to commit suicide.
Detectives believe a three-year-old boy may have shot himself at a home in Indianapolis Saturday night. Police said the shooting appears to have been accidental.
There will be several holiday-themed events this weekend in the Fort Wayne area, including Christmas displays, children’s parties, visits from Santa Claus, and more.
The 122nd Fighter Wing hosted the annual Airman of the Year Awards on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the achievements of members of the 122nd.
Saturday marked the 72nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Fort Wayne area veterans and their families met for a service at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum to remember those who lost their lives back on December 7, 1941.
A doctor who performs abortions in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend has been asked to appear before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board.
Each year, students at Taylor University attend a men's basketball game and are completely silent until the Trojans score their 10th point of the game. The game is known as "Silent Night."
Governor Mike Pence is directing flags at Indiana state facilities be flown at half-staff on Saturday, Dec. 7 in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.