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DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Replacement
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DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Cases Increase as First Trial Proceeds

Oct 10, 2014

Court documents indicate that nearly 7,000 lawsuits have been filed in district court in Texas in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving DePuy Orthopaedics’ Pinnacle hip implant. The first trial in the MDL began on September 3rd.

The hip recipients who brought these cases allege that DePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, failed to warn about the potential for the Pinnacle hip implant to fail. They claim the metal-on-metal hips fail because they are defectively designed, The Southeast Texas Record reports.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said tiny metal particles are released into the bloodstream as the hip components rub together during normal activity. The build up of chromium and cobalt can lead to metallosis, chronic pain, and other complications. The metal debris can cause bone and soft tissue damage and this in turn can lead to device failure. Last year the FDA warned that metal-on-metal hips were more prone to early failure than hips made of other materials. In May 2013, DePuy Orthopaedics halted sales of metal-on-metal hip implants, including those involved in the Pinnacle lawsuits, Bloomberg News reported.

The first trial over Pinnacle hip implants began September 3 in the Northern District of Texas. The Montana woman who brought this case had DePuy Pinnacle implants in both hips. According to the legal complaint, the woman had both Pinnacle hips replaced in 2010 and has needed additional surgeries since, the Record reports. The left hip implant had turned black from the leached metal, court documents say. The plaintiff seeks damages for her physical injuries and punitive damages for “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

U.S. District Judge James E. Kinkeade, who is presiding over the trial and the MDL, denied DePuy’s motion to move the trial from Texas. DePuy claimed the court did not have jurisdiction because the plaintiff resides in Montana. But the judge ruled that DePuy’s nationwide marketing of the Pinnacle hip implants established jurisdiction in Montana, Texas and the rest of the nation, according to the Record.

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