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A Florida judge allows the attorneys at Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. to go after punitive damages against Zimmer Biomet as part of three Florida residents’ lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale.

Punitive damages are a type of financial punishment against a company for intentionally bad behavior or misconduct. The standard for punitive damages in civil court is similar to the standard in criminal court for manslaughter. In order to include punitive damages in their lawsuit, these Florida plaintiffs (the patients injured by the Biomet hip implant) had to show that Zimmer Biomet ignored serious health risks with the M2a metal on metal hip and sold it for financial gain, anyway.

Attorney Ilyas Sayeg presented a motion for permission to add a claim for punitive damages in the lawsuit during a recent proceeding. Judge Henning reviewed the evidence and decided the case had enough merit to add punitive damages in the lawsuit against Zimmer Biomet.  Below is a partial transcript of Judge Henning’s ruling during the proceeding:

 “I think that there is sufficient showing at this time regarding the knowledge that Biomet had regarding the toxicity of the… metal on metal, that they alleged…the damage as far back as 1995 and the testing that was done then, the culture of the company in suggesting that they, once the information was known, not presenting it to the doctors and the surgeons that were using it and trying to avoid subject matter and… even as they showed discussing that having metal in your body is a normal body function and that it would be in there in any event… So, I think at least at this point, there is a sufficient showing for them to be able to allege the claim.”

Juries in three recent “Pinnacle” metal on metal hip trials have awarded $168-million, $360-million and $1-billion in punitive damages against that device’s manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopaedics. Punitive damages are separate from compensatory damages, which is money awarded to a plaintiff to “compensate” them for their expenses and the other costs of their injury. Punitive damages, meanwhile, are meant to provide a jury an additional means to send a message if they believe the conduct was so bad that compensatory damages will not be enough to deter the bad conduct in the future. Each state has complex laws regarding punitive damages and in some cases, punitive damage awards may not be allowed.

Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. is a national medical product liability law firm with offices in Washington, DC, Sarasota, FL and Seattle, WA.  Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. filed the first metal on metal  hip replacement lawsuit in the United States in 2008.  Our team of experienced attorneys has been continuously litigating metal on metal hip replacement cases ever since.  Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A. represents patients across the country with Biomet M2a-38 and M2a-Magnum hip replacements who are now suffering from the effects of metal poisoning.



One Comment

  1. Gravatar for J Chris Crosier
    J Chris Crosier

    I was a recipient of a Biomet M2a Total Hip Replacement in 9/2014, 2 months later was having all types of issues, my surgeon said didn’t know of any issues with the hip and said didn’t see any problems with it after tests. This went on for almost 5 years, before my surgeon said it was time to take a look. September 2014 I had a revision surgery. There was not a recall on the hip, but lots of issues. The company as you know even was offering a $200,000 Settlement to patients. To this day, I am still having issues, my mistake, I employed a local attorney instead of waiting. My claim was submitted and was only awarded $25,000,

    which only got me a very small amount, not the $200,000 after Biomet’s ruling.

    My surgeon said there was metal shavings and brown tissue in my hip area. Other problems discussed that could happen, one “virago”, I have ahad a mayor attack prior to revision surgery and several times since. No telling what is still in store for me after that hip in my body for 5 years.

    It was obvious that my surgeon was informed by Biomet any damages and problems with the M2a Hip!

    I live in Louisville, KY.

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