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West Virginia Woman Files Latest DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Lawsuit

May 19, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

A lawsuit has been filed in West Virginia over the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement System.  The lawsuit claims Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics division concealed the defects and early failure rate associated with the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant.

The Pinnacle device is, like the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR hip replacement which was recalled last August, a metal-on-metal hip implant.  Since the ASR recall was announced, more than 1,300 people have filed an adverse event report with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) involving problems with a DePuy Pinnacle hip.

Concerns have been growing for some time that metal-on-metal devices like the DePuy Pinnacle and ASR hip implants may shed small metal particles as its components rub against each other. This can result in a reaction that causes tissue breakdown, bone loss, and even the formation of non-cancerous tumors. The shedding of metal shavings can cause cobalt poisoning, which can lead to long-term health problems if not treated.

According to her lawsuit, Delores Hatcher began experiencing severe pain and trouble walking shortly after receiving a DePuy Pinnacle hip implant in November 2009.  This past April, her doctor discovered high levels of metal-cobalt and cobalt-1 in her blood.  The lawsuit alleges that her injuries were the result of the "defective design, warnings, construction and unreasonably dangerous character of the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal system."   The complaint further alleges that as a result of the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant, Hatcher has suffered permanent physical injury, economic loss, pain and suffering, and the need for additional surgery.

Hatcher is seeking, among other things, both economic and non-economic damages, compensatory damages, disgorgement of profits, and further relief as the Court may deem proper.

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