October 24, 2014 — After a seven-week trial and two days of deliberation, a federal jury in Texas has ruled against awarding damages to a woman who was injured by the Pinnacle, a metal-on-metal hip implant manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopedics.
The case was the first “bellwether” trial out of more than 6,500 similar lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) under Judge James E. Kinkeade.
The plaintiff, Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, accused DePuy of negligence. In 2009, she was implanted with two Pinnacle hips, which were used with the Ultamet metal liner. This created a metal-on-metal hip, which was allegedly defective.
The problem was that metal parts grinding together shed toxic debris around her hip. The level of cobalt in her bloodstream soared to 85-times normal levels, she developed an infection, and required multiple surgeries to remove and replace the implant.
Attorneys for Herlihy-Paoli accused DePuy of continuing to promote the Pinnacle as safe and effective, despite growing safety concerns about metal-on-metal hips. Although DePuy performed “necessary studies” to establish the Pinnacle’s safety, DePuy acknowledged that no human study looked at the risk of metal toxicity.
In August 2013, the Ultamet was withdrawn from the market, ostensibly for market reasons and not safety concerns.
Johnson & Johnson is undoubtedly hoping to avoid a repeat of the ASR XL litigation, which ended in several multi-million dollar jury verdicts against the company. The ASR was recalled in 2010 and ultimately linked to a 40% five-year failure-rate. Last year, about 7,000 lawsuits settled for $2.5 billion.
Do I have a 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 implant, 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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