Expert testimony continues in the bellwether trial considering injury claims brought by people implanted with the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement device.
Five DePuy Orthopaedics Pinnacle hip injury device lawsuits from among the cases consolidated in the Northern District are being tried in one bellwether trial. The claims in these cases are representative of similar claims in the Pinnacle hip litigation and this trial’s outcome could influence whether DePuy enters a settlement program for Pinnacle injury claims. DePuy has already established a settlement program for injury claims related to the similar ASR metal-on-metal hip implant.
The plaintiffs in this trial and the pending cases allege that the DePuy Pinnacle hip caused serious injuries, including difficulty standing or walking; loosening of the implant; severe pain that spreads to the groin and/or back; tissue death or soft tissue damage; elevated levels of cobalt and chromium ions; bone loss or damage. Many of them have needed revision surgery to correct or even replace the implant.
Metal-on-metal hip implants have had higher failure rates and higher rates of revision surgery than hip replacement devices made of other materials. The UK Daily Telegraph reported in late January that there is evidence that DePuy was aware of problems with the Pinnacle hip dating back to 2008.
The current expert witness is Dr. Matthew Morrey, an assistant professor of medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Morrey completed an orthopedic surgery residency at the Mayo Clinic with an emphasis on primary and revision adult reconstruction. Dr. Morrey maintains an active practice and is a hip implant revision specialist. His father, Dr. Bernard Morrey, a professor at the Mayo Clinic testified last week about the performance of different types of hip implants. The elder Dr. Morrey, who has performed hip implants for former president George H.W Bush, and famed golfers Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, told the jury that he does not use metal-on-metal devices for his patients.