DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trial Goes to the JuryMar 14, 2016
Testimony has finished in the bellwether trial involving the DePuy Orthopaedics Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant, and the case has gone to the jury. The outcome of this case could be important for the disposition of a number of pending cases.
The five plaintiffs in the case allege the Pinnacle hip replacement device that each had had implanted caused painful complications, including difficulty standing or walking; loosening of the hip implant; pain that spreads to the groin and/or back; tissue death; soft tissue damage; and metal poisoning.
Metal-on-metal hips implants like the DePuy Pinnacle hip are associated with high rates of failure and complications. Many recipients need additional surgery to remove and replace a failed implant. DePuy has recalled the similar ASR metal-on-metal hip and in 2013 the company set up a settlement program to resolve lawsuits filed by ASR recipients.
During the trial, a number of expert witnesses testified, included implant surgeons like Dr. Bernard Morrey, who has taught at the Mayo clinic for more than 30 years. Dr. Morrey told the jury he has never used metal-on-metal hips for his patients. Other experts included toxicologists and surgeons involved in the design of DePuy hip. Timothy Ulatowski, an FDA regulatory consultant who spent 37 years at the FDA was accepted as an FDA expert in the regulation of medical devices.
After closing arguments-1 hour and 45 minutes per side-and after motions for mistrial and judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) were dismissed, the jury began deliberations, which continue.