A bellwether trial happening in the Northern District of Texas is focusing on injuries allegedly caused by the DePuy Orthopaedics Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. The outcome of this trial could affect many other pending Pinnacle lawsuits.
The plaintiffs allege the Pinnacle hip devices are responsible for a variety of 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.
The DePuy Pinnacle hip implant has been associated with high rates of failure and complications. Many recipients began to suffer complications soon after the device was implanted and many have needed additional surgery to remove and replace the device. In 2010, DePuy recalled the similar ASR metal-on-metal hip implants worldwide and in 2013 DePuy established a settlement program to resolve lawsuits filed by ASR recipients.
Among the experts who have testified are Dr. Bernard Morrey and Dr. Matt Morrey, a father and son who are both orthopedic surgeons. Dr. Bernard Morrey, who has taught at the Mayo Clinic for over 30 years, told the jury he has never used metal-on-metal hip implants for his patients. Defense expert, Dr. Edward Boyer, an emergency room doctor and medical toxicologist, was called to address cobalt/chromium toxicity exposure to ions and carcinogenicity. Dr. Boyer’s compensation is reportedly $600 per hour. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Cato Laurencin also testified for the defense. Laurencin is a biomedical engineer and testified as an expert in the fields of orthopedic history, orthopedic surgery, orthopedic implants and evidence-based medicine.