An appeals court’s decision to throw out a half-billion dollar verdict and order a new trial in a bellwether products liability case against Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. was in part due to “unequivocally deceptive” conduct by prominent plaintiffs lawyer W. Mark Lanier.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit chastised Lanier for deceiving a Texas jury that put Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit on the hook for $502 million over allegedly defective hip implants. In a ruling issued Wednesday, it found that Lanier should have disclosed “gifts” he provided to two doctors who testified as expert witnesses in the trial.

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