Expert Testimony Continues in Week 6 of DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether TrialFeb 18, 2016
In week six of a bellwether trial in the Northern District of Texas, expert witnesses continue to offer testimony about the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement device.
At issue in the trial are injuries allegedly caused by the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. The outcome of this case could affect many pending Pinnacle lawsuits.
Devices like the DePuy Pinnacle were introduced to the market with the expectation that they would be more durable than previous hip devices, thus making them a better choice for patients undergoing hip replacement at earlier ages. But metal-on-metal devices have been associated with high failure rates and painful complications, including difficulty standing or walking; loosening of the implant; pain that spreads to the groin and/or back; tissue death; soft tissue damage; and metal poisoning. Numerous recipients have needed surgery to remove and replace the faulty DePuy device.
DePuy previously recalled its ASR metal-on-metal hip implants worldwide because of a high failure rate, and other manufacturers have recalled metal-on-metal hips in recent years. In 2013, DePuy established a settlement program to resolve lawsuits brought by ASR recipients.
A number of experts have offered testimony about the DePuy Pinnacle hip. Dr. Bernard Morrey and Dr. Matt Morrey, father and son orthopedic surgeons, testified for the plaintiffs. Dr. Bernard Morrey has taught at the Mayo Clinic for over 30 years and has performed hip replacements for former president George H.W. Bush and golfers Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. Dr. Morrey told the jury he has never used metal-on-metal hip implants for his patients. Dr. Matt Morrey provided a report and he may return to court for further testimony. Defense expert Dr. Brian Haas has reportedly received more than $7.5 million in royalty/consulting payments from the industry. Orthopedic pathologist, Dr. Scott Nelson, who recently testified, has funding ties to DePuy. The next witness expected to testify for the defendants is Pat Campbell, Ph.D., who does implant retrieval analysis of joint arthroplasties, with particular emphasis on the biological factors that affect the clinical performance of implants.