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Lawyers Grill DePuy Execs in 1st Pinnacle Hip Implant Trial

September 17, 2014 — Reuters reports that lawyers for a woman who was injured by the Pinnacle hip implant grilled executives from Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopedics in the first “bellwether” trial out of more than 6,400 lawsuits.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by Kathy Herlihy-Paoli, a 58 year-old woman who was implanted with two Pinnacle devices in 2009. She alleges that the metal-on-metal design is defective because it can generate metal debris. Levels of cobalt in her bloodstream skyrocketed to 85-times normal, causing metallosis.

Herlihy-Paoli’s attorneys questioned Pamela Plouhar, DePuy’s worldwide vice president of clinical research. The attorneys argued that DePuy was negligent because they failed to conduct studies about metal toxicity despite evidence of this risk in similar implants dating back to 1974.

Plouhar argued that DePuy performed “necessary studies” to establish the implant’s safety, but acknowledged that there was “no human study that looked at” the risk of metal toxicity.

DePuy has not recalled the Pinnacle hip implant, but last year they recalled two components that are used exclusively with the implant — the ULTAMET® metal-on-metal and COMPLETE™ ceramic-on-metal hip replacement liners.

In 2010, DePuy recalled the ASR, a metal-on-metal hip implant that was linked to a 40% five-year failure rate. The ASR was approved without new safety studies because DePuy argued it was “substantially equivalent” to the Pinnacle. Last year, DePuy agreed to pay about $2.5 billion to settle 8,000 lawsuits involving the ASR.

Do I have a DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting DePuy Pinnacle induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by a metal-on-metal hip replacement, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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