Depuy Hip Replacement Lawsuit Lawyers
The DePuy Pinnacle hip implant has been known to cause severe injuries in patients who received the metal-on-metal version. When patients have already been dealing with the pain and frustration of a deteriorating hip, it can be absolutely devastating to discover that the very implant that was to correct the problem has caused further painful complications. An experienced medical device lawyer can help you receive deserved compensation for your injuries from the hip implant manufacturer.
About DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implants
Pinnacle is the name of a brand of hip implants manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The Pinnacle line has a few different replacement options, but litigation has been ongoing related to the metal-on-metal hip implant.
Hip Replacement Surgery and Implants
A person’s hip joint is composed of a ball-and-socket system. The ball is located on the top of the femur bone, and the socket is located in the pelvic bone. In a healthy hip, tissue and cartilage cushion the joint and create ease of movement around the joint. Throughout time and age, however, and usually as a result of advanced arthritis, that tissue and cartilage can wear down, causing pain and immobility for a person.
In these situations, many patients decide to undergo total hip arthroplasty, or a full hip replacement. During this procedure, a surgeon removes the damaged portions of the hip and places a ball-and-cup implant to give the patient a new hip joint. One product available to assist with this procedure is the Pinnacle metal-on-metal implant.
Pinnacle Complications and Injuries
In the Pinnacle implant, both the ball and cup (and cup liner) components are made of metal. Studies have shown that, as these metal components in the Pinnacle implant rub together and wear down, they can release metal ions into the body. Deposits of metal can then build up through time and lead to a condition known as metallosis.
The symptoms of this condition can include:
- Severe pain, both when moving and when at rest
- Chronic, recurring infections
- Chronic inflammation and swelling
- Fluid accumulation around the implant
- Bone deterioration
- Metal toxicity or chromium poisoning
- Failure of or dislocation of the hip implant
- Feelings of confusion or dizziness
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
- Skin rashes
- Visual or hearing disturbances
Treatment for metallosis will ordinarily involve surgery, and the condition can sometimes be fatal. Almost all patients who experienced these complications will need to undergo a procedure to replace the defective hip implant and repair damaged bone and tissue. Often, patients’ problems cannot be addressed in just one procedure and must be corrected with several surgeries.
If your surgeon used a Pinnacle implant during your total hip replacement procedure, you could be entitled to seek compensation from the manufacturer of the implant. The attorneys at Parker Waichman know how traumatic your hip injuries are, and we are prepared to fight for your rights.
The History of DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Litigation
A large number of plaintiffs filed suit against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson for their Pinnacle injuries, and the cases were consolidated into a Multidistrict Litigation. A Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) allows all cases of one kind to be placed in the same federal court to make sure pretrial issues are decided in the same way. MDLs allow parties to preserve resources and eliminate unnecessary work duplication. The Pinnacle MDL is located in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in front of Judge Ed Kinkeade. Judge Kinkeade oversaw pretrial matters and has been presiding over the first Pinnacle trials, called “bellwether” trials.
The First Pinnacle Bellwether Trial
The first Pinnacle bellwether case went to trial in 2014, and the jury found in favor of Johnson & Johnson. The second trial occurred in March 2016, when a Texas Pinnacle jury rendered a verdict of $500 million ($140 million in compensatory damages and $360 million in punitive damages) in favor of five plaintiffs. However, Judge Kinkeade significantly reduced the March verdict to $151 million to comply with Texas’ state law regarding caps on damages. Further, this case is on appeal because Johnson & Johnson believes errors were committed during the trial that give it grounds for reversal of the verdict.
As you might have read, the third Pinnacle trial concluded on December 1, 2016, when another Texas jury rendered a verdict of $1 billion ($32 million in compensatory damages and $968 million in punitive damages) in favor of six plaintiffs. However, Judge Kinkeade also significantly reduced this verdict to comply with Texas law, taking the verdict down to $543 million.
More Recent Litigation and Lawsuits
Most recently, the fourth bellwether trial is underway in Texas, beginning in September 2017 and consisting of six plaintiffs from New York. Prior to the trial, the defense asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to order Judge Kinkeade to cancel the trial for lack of jurisdiction over the New York plaintiffs. Plaintiffs strongly opposed, and the 5th Circuit Court ultimately declined to issue such an order. In an advisory opinion, the 5th Circuit Court suggested that the Texas trial court did not have jurisdiction but stated this issue could be addressed during the trial. Judge Kinkeade opted to move forward with the trial, and it is still ongoing.
The large verdicts plaintiffs’ counsel has been able to secure are extremely encouraging and give us an idea about the strength of the Pinnacle cases. We hope that they will prompt settlement negotiations from defense counsel, but it is important to remember that a settlement is not guaranteed. We have certainly learned from DePuy and Johnson & Johnson’s actions following these verdicts that they are going to continue fighting these cases. We will continue fighting back to hold them accountable for their defective implants.
Now is the time to act if you believe you have a claim for a defective Pinnacle implant. The litigation is advancing quickly, and you need representation to make sure you are adequately protected. Contact Parker Waichman today to find out more information about Pinnacle lawsuits and your options for compensation.
Product Liability Laws
Generally, in a product liability action, we need to prove that a manufacturer defectively designed a product, defectively manufactured a product, or failed to adequately warn doctors and patients about the risks associated with its product.
Defect in Design
In a design defect claim, we need to show the product was not reasonably safe because of the substantial likelihood of harm to patients, and that it was feasible for the manufacturer to design the product in a safer way. We also then have to prove that the defective design was the cause of a person’s injury.
Defect in Manufacturing
In a manufacturing defect case, we need to prove that the product did not perform as intended and thereby caused a person to be injured. We do not need to look at the entire manufacturing process but the finished product that left the manufacturer’s plant or factory.
Failure to Warn
In a failure to warn case, we have to prove that the manufacturer did not provide adequate warnings about its product. Manufacturers have an advantage over patients because they know everything about their products. Patients can only access as much information as the manufacturers provide. Doctors also act as intermediaries between patients and manufacturers, so manufacturers have a legal obligation to warn both doctors and patients about the risks of using their products.
Manufacturers must provide warnings as to:
- Latent dangers resulting from foreseeable uses of their products. These include dangers they know about and dangers they should know about; and
- Dangers arising out of reasonably foreseeable unintended uses of their products. Manufacturers have a duty to anticipate reasonably foreseeable ways their products might be used and warn about the dangers of those uses.
All of the above claims must be made within the time limits imposed by state statutes of limitations.
Statute of Limitations Considerations
A statute of limitations is a time limit imposed by the state on filing a lawsuit. If you do not file a claim for injuries within the appropriate amount of time and in the appropriate court, your claim can be forever barred, regardless of the merits of your case. States create statutes of limitations to encourage plaintiffs to act quickly. Quicker action has the effect of preserving the integrity of evidence. For instance, your memory of an event will be much stronger one year later versus five years later. There is also a lower likelihood that records and business documents will have been misplaced or destroyed if someone must file a claim sooner. And moreover, potential defendants will not have to forever prepare for anticipated litigation.
Discovery Rules in Products Liability Cases
Some states have what are called “discovery rules” that operate to ease the restrictions of statutes of limitations by allowing the clock to only begin running after a person discovers that he has been injured and, sometimes, also after he discovers — or has reason to discover — why he was injured and by whom he was injured.
The only way to determine the completely correct statute of limitations on your Pinnacle hip replacement claim is to work with an experienced lawyer, like the lawyers at Parker Waichman. As soon as we receive a case, we go to work calculating the appropriate statute of limitations and preserving all relevant evidence to make sure we have time to file a lawsuit and have everything we need to build the best possible case. If you think you have a potential Pinnacle claim, contact our office today.
The Pinnacle Hip Injury Claims Process
We realize filing a case against Johnson & Johnson can seem overwhelming, but our team makes the process as smooth as possible for our clients. It starts with one simple phone call to our office. During that call, you will be able to speak with a seasoned attorney who can explain the services we provide and help you understand your options moving forward.
Thereafter, when you sign up your case with Parker Waichman LLP, we will immediately begin investigating your case to determine whether you can file a lawsuit. The basic case process from intake to filing will include all of the following:
- Gathering a detailed history of all your hip surgeries and injuries;
- Obtaining medical records from your original hip replacement surgery, as well as any additional surgery or medical treatment records;
- Identifying the brand name of your hip implant, as well as the name of the implant manufacturer;
- Gaining legal support for your claim by consulting with medical experts and industry experts;
- Determining where your case should be filed and against whom (in the Pinnacle MDL or elsewhere);
- Drafting and preparing a petition for filing.
Our lawyers have decades of experience holding medical device manufacturers responsible for people’s injuries. We have secured settlement and verdicts for our clients to the tune of more than $2 billion. When you hire us, you can feel confident your case is in the hands of seasoned professionals who know how to win. We know your case is important to you and your family, and you can feel assured it is just as important to us.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pinnacle Injuries
When clients contact us about their potential Pinnacle hip replacement claims, they usually have a lot of questions about the implant itself and the current litigation. We are committed to explaining the nature of these cases to our clients so they feel confident their rights are being protected.
Along the way, we have compiled a list of some of the questions we hear most often. Below you will find some of the questions our clients ask when they call us about their Pinnacle case and our answers to those questions.
Who Manufacturers the Pinnacle Hip Implant?
The Pinnacle implant is manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., which is a division of the well-known corporation Johnson & Johnson.
What Injuries are People Reporting from the Pinnacle Implant?
Pinnacle is a metal-on-metal implant, meaning all of its parts are made of metal. Studies have shown that, as these metal components in the Pinnacle implant rub together and wear down, they can release metal ions into the body. The deposits of metal can build up and lead to a condition known as metallosis. The symptoms of this condition commonly include:
- Severe pain when moving and when at rest
- Recurrent infection
- Ongoing postoperative inflammation and swelling
- Fluid buildup around the site of implantation
- Bone deterioration
- Metal toxicity or chromium poisoning
- Failure or dislocation of the hip implant
- Feelings of confusion or dizziness
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
- Skin rashes
- Visual or hearing disturbances
Treatment for metallosis will ordinarily involve surgery, and the condition can sometimes be fatal. Almost all patients who experience these complications will need to undergo a procedure to replace the defective hip implant and repair damaged bone and tissue. Often, patients’ problems cannot be addressed in just one procedure and must be corrected with several surgeries.
Where Have Pinnacle Lawsuits Being Filed?
A large number of plaintiffs filed suit against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson for their Pinnacle injuries, and the cases were eventually consolidated into a Multidistrict Litigation. A Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) allows all cases of one kind to be placed in the same federal court to make sure pretrial issues are decided in the same way. MDLs allow parties to preserve resources and eliminate unnecessary work duplication.
The Pinnacle MDL is located in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in front of Judge Ed Kinkeade. Judge Kinkeade oversaw pretrial matters and has been presiding over the first Pinnacle trials, called “bellwether” trials. Several of these trials have already taken place, and one is currently underway.
How Do I know if I Have a Pinnacle Implant?
In order to file a lawsuit against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson, a person must be able to prove he or she had a Pinnacle implant. Generally, before surgery, surgeons will discuss the implant they intend to place but do not always call the implant by its brand name. For this reason, you might know that you have a metal-on-metal hip implant but have no idea what the implant is called or who manufactured it. Many of our clients do not know what kind of implant they have when they call us about their case, and we tell them is this not a problem.
When you hire Parker Waichman LLP, we will track down that information for you. After we receive your potential claim, we will immediately order medical records from the day of your hip replacement surgery. When we request these records, we will also ask for copies of the intraoperative records and implant reports from your hip surgery. Those records will usually contain a lot number or product sticker that identifies the specific brand and manufacturer of your hip implant. We call this sticker or lot number “product identification.” Once we have identified what kind of hip implant you have, we can discuss how to move forward.
If we find out that you do not have a Pinnacle brand implant, we will work to include your case in one of our other medical device litigations. We will do our best to find a way to obtain compensation from your manufacturer.
Has the Pinnacle Implant Been Recalled?
The DePuy Pinnacle hip implant has not been recalled. DePuy has withdrawn some of its other hip implants from the market, such as the DePuy ASR Hip System, but to date, the Pinnacle is still on the market.
In its voluntary recall of ASR implants, DePuy noted that, according to 2010 data collected from an independent national registry in the United Kingdom, patients who had an ASR implant had high rates of revision surgeries. Within five years of having an ASR device implanted, 12 to 13 percent of patients had revision surgeries.
We are fighting for a recall of the Pinnacle implant, as well, because we believe it is just as dangerous as — if not more dangerous than — the ASR hip implants.
What are the Alternatives to a Pinnacle Implant?
Surgeons have many options to choose from these days when selecting implants for patients’ total hip replacements. The Pinnacle implant is made entirely of metal parts, which is why it is so dangerous. These metal parts rub together and send particles into patients’ bodies that cause serious medical complications.
Rather than a metal implant, surgeons can choose to use the following kinds of replacement:
- Metal-on-polyethylene (ball made of metal and socket made of plastic or at least a plastic lining)
- Ceramic-on-polyethylene (ball made of ceramic and socket made of plastic or at least a plastic lining)
- Ceramic-on-ceramic (ball made of ceramic and socket has a ceramic lining)
- Ceramic-on-metal (ball is made of ceramic and socket has a metal lining)
While our lawyers would argue metal should not be used at all in hip implants, it is likely better to have an implant made partially of metal than made of all metal. Of course, the decision as to which hip implant you use is one that must be made between you and your hip surgeon. We highly recommend, though, that you investigate what implant might be used and see if we have a current litigation on that product. We are happy to answer questions for you about any of our current medical device litigations.
How Long Will My Pinnacle Case Take?
At this stage of the Pinnacle lawsuits, we are not able to make determinations about duration of the litigation. It is also very important to note that settlements are never guaranteed. While we will fight tenaciously for your case to be resolved, we can never be 100 percent sure of what the defendants will do.
As you can imagine, many people have been affected by Pinnacle hip implant injuries. Because of the size of this litigation, things tend to move more slowly than a standard state court personal injury claim. As you are probably aware, these cases have already been pending for quite some time. MDL management sometimes moves slowly, though there are multiple reasons to favor an MDL over a state court action in a litigation of this size. Throughout the entire time your case is pending, we will do our best to keep you updated on the litigation’s progress. We are also always a phone call or email away, and we encourage you to contact us any time you have questions or concerns about your claim. We take client communication very seriously and want to make sure you always feel assured about your case’s progress.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me?
The attorneys at Parker Waichman know your Pinnacle injuries have changed your life, and we are committed to helping you receive just compensation. When you file a claim for damages against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson, you can recover for all of the ways you have been harmed by their device. This includes claims for the following types of compensation:
- The cost of medical bills from your surgeries or other treatment related to your hip replacement injuries;
- The cost of future medical bills if you will require additional treatment or surgeries;
- Damages from the time and wages you have missed at work if you have not been able to work because of your injuries. This can include compensation for missed future time and wages if you cannot return to work;
- Recovery for your physical and mental pain and suffering as the result of your hip implant injuries;
- Punitive damages, should the judge or jury find that the defendant has engaged in conduct extreme enough such that it must be assessed a sum of money carrying a punishing effect.
When you hire our firm, we will help you calculate the full extent of your economic and noneconomic damages to make sure you and your family receive the best outcome possible. We know you need to be compensated appropriately, and we will work steadfastly to make that happen.
Parker Waichman LLP
The experienced product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP, understand the burdens placed upon you and your family by your Pinnacle replacement injuries, and we are committed to bringing you the case results you deserve. Our legal team is ready to investigate your claim and determine whether you can file a lawsuit to hold the implant manufacturer liable for your injuries.
Awards & Accolades
In our decades litigating personal injury and product liability cases, we have earned a reputation for superior client advocacy. Fellow plaintiffs’ lawyers, defense lawyers, judges, and current and former clients have bestowed us with numerous accolades and honors, including:
- 8 (out of a perfect 10) Rating by AVVO (a service that rates every attorney in the United States)
- “Preeminent Lawyers” AV Peer Review Rating (Martindale-Hubbell® – a company that, for more than 100 years, has rated attorneys across the United States and the world based on feedback from judges and their peers)
- Highest Ranking of “5 Dragons,” based on peer review by Lawdragon
- Listing in Best Lawyers Publication, determined by Extensive Peer Review
Knowledge That Makes A Difference
We know when you sign your case with us, you are placing your trust in us, and we take that incredibly seriously. We work tirelessly to give you the peace of mind you need during this trying time. Together, we can hold manufacturers accountable for your injuries and help to make the medical device industry safer for people in the future.
Call For Your FREE, No Obligation, No Pressure Medical / Legal Consultation
We know hiring a lawyer can seem scary, and it is difficult to know how to start. When you call Parker Waichman LLP, you will immediately feel at ease. During your first call, you will have the opportunity to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated medical device attorneys, who will listen to your story and present you with possibilities to hold the manufacturer accountable.
We understand that because of your Pinnacle hip replacement injuries, you are likely already struggling to pay lofty medical bills. Your original surgery and subsequent surgeries and treatments have placed a large financial burden on your shoulders. Now bills are piling up, and you cannot afford anything else or bear to take on any added stress. Product liability litigation, especially against a giant corporation like Johnson & Johnson, can be extremely expensive. But you do not need to worry about any of that.
You have large enough worries already, so let us fight this battle for you. We offer confidential consultations at absolutely no cost, and we contract our defective hip replacement cases on a contingency-fee basis. That means we take on all that financial risk ourselves. We will advance the costs of litigating your claim, and if you don’t get paid, neither do we. Even if we perform a thorough investigation and incur out-of-pocket expenses and decide we cannot move forward with your claim, you will never receive a bill from us. There has never been a better time to stand up for your rights, so contact our firm today.
Parker Waichman LLP
At Parker Waichman LLP, we tackle complicated cases and advocate for our clients with intensity. We are steadfastly dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and their families, and we have a reputation for achieving tremendous results. If you or a loved one underwent a total hip replacement procedure using a DePuy Pinnacle implant and developed subsequent complications, contact our firm today for your free consultation by filling out our online form or calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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