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Obstruction, improper conduct, blatant disregard, and gamesmanship are just a few of the charges leveled at the corporate giant in a newly released motion filed by the plaintiffs attorneys in the Pinnacle hip replacement litigation.

The attorneys asked MDL Judge Ed Kinkeade to sanction, or punish, J&J saying, “eight years of misconduct is quite enough.”  But the judge never got a chance to rule because both sides reached a settlement agreement in the metal on metal hip litigation days later.

However, Judge Kinkeade’s pointed response in an order released earlier this week indicates that Johnson & Johnson could have faced serious judicial consequences for the charges of obstruction and misconduct.

“Rather than recite a laundry list of questionable conduct within this Order, the Court will unseal those now-mooted motions—which would be well-taken by the Court but for the parties’ settlement.“  – Judge Kinkeade

The sanctions motion details how Johnson & Johnson mislead and obstructed the Pinnacle hip trials over and over

The evidence includes hiding ethics investigations. J&J faced multiple investigations about asking researchers to put their names on journal articles they didn’t write or on research studies they never conducted. This practice is called ghostwriting and is considered highly unethical. 
The motion says J&J tried to “obscure relevant information” by only searching through their internal documents for the word “ghost,” which did not produce any of the ethics complaints that are on file. It appears that J&J searched for one irrelevant word in millions of their internal documents.

The “laundry list of questionable conduct” by Johnson & Johnson also includes:

  • Telling witnesses not to answer questions during depositions.
  • Deliberately being evasive during depositions
  • “Gamesmanship in deposition scheduling.” J&J tried to schedule depositions in cities on opposite sides of the country on back to back days in different time zones, making it nearly impossible for the plaintiffs attorneys to attend and prepare for the depositions.
  • Sandbagging the court with a barrage of last minute changes or requests.
  • Not abiding by agreements.
  • Blatant disregard and disrespect to and about the Court
  • J&J never produced any of the documents related to a $120 million dollar deceptive marketing settlement with Attorney Generals of 46 states. The plaintiffs attorneys found out about the settlement through the media.

You can read the entire sanctions motion here: Pinnacle Hip Supplemental Motion for Sanctions and to Compel and Incorporated Memorandum in Support Thereof

You also read the judge’s final order here: Pinnacle Hip Order Granting Final Assessment

About Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A.

MCT Law is a national medical product liability law firm with offices in Sarasota, FL, Seattle, WA, and Washington, DC.  It filed the first metal on metal (MoM) hip replacement lawsuit in the United States in 2008. Additionally, MCT Law’s highly experienced trial attorneys continue to litigate metal on metal hip replacement cases across the country. The Firm represents patients suffering the effects of heavy metal poisoning from metal on metal hip replacements.

3 Comments

  1. Gravatar for ken Henshaw

    What was the name of the judge that made this deplorable decision, also what legal settlements did he use to arrive at this ignorant decision! kh

    1. Gravatar for kathy jo

      Ken Henshaw's question remains unanswered.. wasn't it Judge Kinkeade ... we got sold out but the raised the reimbursements for the attorneys... read the Pinnacle Hip Order Granting Final Assessment

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