Biomet Fails To Escape Mo. Jury’s $21M Hip Implant Verdict

Biomet Inc. can’t nix a $21 million jury verdict in favor of a woman injured by allegedly defective hip implants, a Missouri federal judge said as he rejected a slew of post-trial motions brought by the medical device maker.

U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Clark denied Biomet’s requests for a new trial, judgment as a matter of law or to alter the November verdict entered in favor of Mary Bayes and her husband Philip Bayes over purported issues with Biomet’s M2a Magnum metal-on-metal hip replacement product.

Biomet had argued that it was excessive to award $21 million worth of damages to Mary Bayes, who has dislocated her hip 12 times and undergone seven revision surgeries since having both her hips replaced with M2a Magnum implants in 2008.

The company said that number is significantly higher than the damages awarded in other cases over the M2a Magnum product, such as a recent $3.5 million jury verdict out of Idaho. Biomet also cited smaller damages figures entered against other medical device makers who sold allegedly shoddy metal-on-metal hip implants, including in 2016 multidistrict litigation against Johnson & Johnson.

But Judge Clark said Mary Bayes is entitled to higher damages than those other plaintiffs because she’s endured far greater pain and been forced to go under the knife more times since her first hip replacements.

Biomet had also sought to reverse the verdict on the grounds that the Bayes’ lawyer, Darin Schanker of Bachus & Schanker LLC, engaged in misconduct during the trial by bringing up outside litigation against Biomet and discussing a failure-to-warn claim that had previously been dismissed.

While Judge Clark agreed that Schanker did run afoul of court rules, he said his instructions for the jury to ignore the inappropriate statements were enough to prevent any prejudice from seeping into the verdict.


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