DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trial Continues Experts TestifyFeb 3, 2016
Jurors in the Northern District of Texas have been hearing arguments over the DePuy Pinnacle hip implants for the past four weeks. The bellwether trial, which is composed of five lawsuits consolidated into one proceeding, is taking place before federal Judge Ed Kinkeade. The jury's decision can influence the outcome of future Pinnacle lawsuits.
According to plaintiffs' allegations, the Pinnacle hip implant is flawed in its metal-on-metal design and can release debris. Allegedly, this can lead to complications such as pain, implant loosening, tissue death and elevated metal ion levels.
Concerns over metal-on-metal hip implants peaked in 2010, when DePuy recalled its ASR metal-on-metal hip implants worldwide due to high failure rates. In other words, patients who received the ASR experienced complications within a relatively short period of time often resulting in a second surgery, known as a revision surgery, to remove the implant. In 2013, DePuy Orthopaedics opened a settlement program to resolve ASR lawsuits.
As this trial proceeds, several expert witnesses have testified. Most recently, world renowned orthopedic histopathologist Dr. Nicholas Athanasou, M.D., Ph.D is taking the stand. Dr. Athanasou studied cellular mechanisms of bone resorption and is a professor of musculoskeletal pathology at Oxford, England. DePuy objected to his use of a microscope in the courtroom, but the court overruled this motion. His testimony will continue.
Other recent plaintiff expert witnesses include top orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bernard Morrey and his son Dr. Matt Morrey. Dr. Bernard Morrey, who has vast credentials including over 30 years with the Mayo Clinic, told jurors he has never used metal-on-metal hip implants. Both doctors are non-retained experts for the plaintiffs. The court asked Dr. Matt Morrey to provide a report and he may be required to return for further examination.