"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 44 cents to $78.19 Friday.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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