xray of metal on metal hip replacement

J&J DePuy Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuits


DePuy (pronounced like “Dep-YOU”) Orthopaedics is owned by Johnson & Johnson. Through DePuy, J&J made two types of metal-on-metal hip replacements. Both have failed in large numbers and are no longer used by any orthopedic surgeon. One, the “DePuy ASR,” was recalled by J&J in 2010. The other, the DePuy “Pinnacle,” was never recalled by DePuy despite their recall of the ASR.

There are several types of Pinnacle hip replacements. Not all are metal on metal. The “Ultamet” is the metal-on-metal variant of Pinnacle hip systems. You can think of this like a trim level on a car. It’s like getting the supposedly upgraded trim with leather seats. Only the leather on this trim can poison you.

Health complications happen with metal on metal hip replacements like the Pinnacle because metal releases when the metal parts begin to rub against each other. As you move, more particles are released. These particles stay around the hip implant, causing catastrophic, irreversible damage. Some of these particles get pounded down inside the joint into smaller and smaller particles until they are ionic in size. This creates a situation where these particles are now small enough to be transported to other areas of the body, potentially with devastating effects elsewhere.

Often, patients have no symptoms of something wrong, but there can still be elevated levels of metal in your blood that lead to severe health complications. Sometimes, patients have mildly elevated levels of metal, but the damage around the implant is extensive. Further, some patients could have very high metal levels in their blood but only mild to moderate damage to the hip. This leads to questions about how the rest of the body may react to the high dose of metal.

The metal surfaces on the ball and cup of the hip replacement parts rub together as you move and release microscopic metal ion particles into the bloodstream. Often patients have no symptoms that something is wrong but there can still be elevated levels of metal in your blood that lead to severe health complications, such as:

Other Side Effects:​

– Inflammation in the tissues around the joint
Bone loss
– Loosening of the device
– Neurological issues
Heart complications/failure
Revision Surgery

If you have a DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement, it’s extremely important to see your doctor.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the Pinnacle hip replacement in 2000. It was cleared through the FDA’s grandfather clause, meaning it was similar enough to another already cleared hip replacement that it didn’t have to go through any testing for safety and efficacy.

The FDA grandfather process allowed DePuy to bring the Pinnacle to the market even though DePuy claimed that the Pinnacle was substantially similar to metal-on-metal devices from the 1960s, which were abandoned due to concerns over metal toxicity.

DePuy cleared two metal-on-metal hip replacements through this process, the Pinnacle in 2000 and the ASR in 2004. When pushing the ASR through the FDA grandfather process, DePuy claimed the Pinnacle and the ASR were “substantially equivalent.” DePuy recalled the ASR in 2010 but refuses to recall the Pinnacle, even today.



mctlaw is one of the few law firms in the country representing people with Pinnacle metal on metal hip replacements.

We do not string you along, sell your information, or refer your case to other firms. We believe you deserve respect, understanding, and compensation for your injury.


Mctlaw actively files lawsuits for metal-on-metal hip replacement injuries. Most law firms are not doing this. Before you choose legal representation, ask these questions when contacting lawyers:

– Will your firm represent me or refer me to another firm?
– How are you actively working on Pinnacle MoM hip implant cases?
– What are you doing differently with Pinnacle MoM hip cases than other law firms?
– Will I be able to speak with my attorney throughout the process?


– When you call mctlaw, you will speak directly with our staff. Most TV advertisements provide a call center number and are not actual law firms.
– Call centers sell your lead to a law firm that pays for your information. We NEVER do this.
– You will speak to the attorney handling your case. Many firms deal with hip replacement injuries as an assembly line.
– Our clients are treated with respect and given the attention they deserve. You will not be a number to mctlaw.
– We work directly for our clients. We communicate with our clients often and are available to answer questions throughout the case.
Mctlaw is filing Pinnacle lawsuits and not referring them out.

Why you Should Contact an Attorney Right Now, Even if you Don’t Have Symptoms

Although there has not been a recall for the metal on metal DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup hip implant, you should still contact an attorney who handles metal hip cases.  There are deadlines to file your case and your attorney can make sure you don’t miss these dates.

mctlaw is one of the nation’s leading law firms handling metal-on-metal joint replacement cases.  We filed the FIRST metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuit in the United States and have worked to litigate these cases ever since.

Metal on Metal Hip Replacement Cases FILED BY MCTLAW Across the United States

Click on each state to view the number of cases.


Metallosis involves a build-up of metal debris in the body’s soft tissue. These particles rot healthy red tissue and muscle around the hip replacement and turn it into a dead mass of gray gunk. This causes pain and loss of mobility, among other issues.

Cobalt-Chromium Poisoning​

Cobalt-Chromium poisoning is when there are elevated amounts of cobalt and chromium metals in the bloodstream. The level for those with metal-on-metal hip replacements is usually slightly higher than normal, but it can progress to a dangerous level and pose health risks.

$120 Million Settlement with 46 US States – January 2019

DePuy agrees to a $120 million settlement with the attorneys general of 46 U.S. states. The states said Depuy misled patients by claiming their hip replacements would last much longer than they did. That promise turned into a nightmare for patients who suddenly need another hip replacement surgery just a few years after the first one. The lawsuits alleged that DePuy engaged in unfair and deceptive sales practices with ASR XL and Pinnacle Ultamet hip replacements.

$247 Million Jury Verdict – November 2017

In a unanimous verdict, a Dallas jury told Johnson & Johnson and Depuy Orthopedics to pay $247 million to 6 people hurt by the defective Pinnacle hip implant. This is the 3rd trial in a row where a jury sided with the patients over the corporations. Our attorneys believe this verdict is a good sign for all victims of metal on metal hip implants. These hips are defective, they are hurting thousands of people across the country, and juries are siding with the little guys in this David and Goliath fight.

$1 Billion Jury Verdict – December 2016

On December 1, 2016, a jury returned an astounding $1 billion verdict in favor of 6 people injured by the Pinnacle hip replacement. This is the largest award ever handed down in any metal on metal hip trial. It’s the second time in only 8 months that a jury has awarded a verdict meant to punish the company for how it handled these defective hips. Attorneys at mctlaw believe this sends a strong message to DePuy and J&J that it’s time to start settling these cases instead of losing billions of dollars in trials.  Juries are not showing sympathy for these huge companies when they see the physical damage their implants have caused to the patients who trusted them.

$500 Million Dollar Jury Verdict – March 2016

In March 2016 a jury awarded a nearly $500 million dollar verdict to 5 victims of defective Pinnacle hip replacements.  The verdict included $360 million in punitive damages. This was a resounding victory for all of the victims of defective metal on metal hips.  You can read the entire Pinnacle hip trial verdict form here.

Frequently Asked Questions About the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement

What is the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement? 

The DePuy Pinnacle hip implant is a type of hip replacement with a high profile because of lawsuits alleging the metal on metal version is defective. The Pinnacle brand of hip system is manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics, and is owned by Johnson & Johnson. Jury verdicts against DePuy and J&J over defective Pinnacle hips have reached up to $1-billion dollars.  

Has the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement Been Recalled? 

The metal on metal version of the Pinnacle hip implant has NOT been recalled but DePuy stopped selling it in 2013. Companies sometimes voluntarily take a product off the market rather than face a recall. 

What is Wrong with the Depuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement? 

The metal cup and ball of the Pinnacle hip implant rub against each other and can release tiny metal particles into the body. As you move, more and more particles are released. These particles can cause catastrophic, irreversible damage from metal poisoning. Common reactions include metallosis, pseudotumors, metal reactions, dead tissue and muscle. The smallest metal particles can get into the bloodstream and cause devastating effects elsewhere, such as vision and hearing loss, kidney damage, memory problems, and other system wide reactions. 

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Pinnacle Hip Replacement Problems?

Metallosis, pseudotumors, high blood metal levels, vision or hearing loss, and revision surgery to remove and replace a bad hip implant are common with Pinnacle hips. Metallosis is when small particles of metal rub off and rot the healthy hip tissue around the implant. Pseudotumors are another reaction to metal particles. They are large, solid, or semi-liquid masses of soft tissue growth inside the body, usually around the hip joint. Vision and hearing loss can occur as systemic reactions to the metal build up in the body from Pinnacle hips. 

How Do I Find Out What Kind of Hip I Have? 

You may have gotten an implant card after your surgery with the name and serial numbers of your implant. Another way to find out what kind of hip you have is to contact your surgeon and/or hospital and ask for the following medical records:   

  1. A copy of your operative report
  2. A copy of your hip implant records

These should only be a few pages long. You do not need a copy of your entire hospital record.  We’ve created a simple guide to find out what kind of hip replacement you have.

Is there a Deadline to File a Hip Replacement Claim? 

Yes, definitely. There is a limited period of time to file a lawsuit for injuries suffered as the result of a defective product. Do not put off getting information about your hip replacement because it could hurt your potential case.

Will I Have Symptoms if Something is Wrong with My Hip Replacement? 

Many patients will experience symptoms if something is wrong with their hip replacement, but not everyone has symptoms. People can have dangerously high blood levels of metal ions but feel no pain or any other physical warning that something is wrong. Common symptoms include pain, pseudotumors, metallosis, ALVAL, squeaking in the joint, dislocation, vision loss, cardiac problems, hearing loss, and more. It’s important to remember that you may not always have symptoms as the hip replacement fails.

How Much is a Hip Replacement Lawsuit Worth?

Settlement amounts depend on many factors and are almost always confidential. But jury verdicts against Johnson & Johnson over the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement include a $1-billion dollar jury verdict for a group of injured patients and a $502 million dollar verdict. 

Why Hire Our Attorneys to Represent You in a Hip Replacement Case? 

Mctlaw has focused its practice on defective hip replacement cases for more than 15 years. In 2008 our attorneys filed the first lawsuit involving a modern generation metal on metal hip replacement in the United States. Attorneys at mctlaw hold national leadership positions in ongoing hip replacement litigation. Mctlaw is one of the few law firms in the country actively pursuing jury trials for defective hip replacements.

Content Reviewed by Michele Stephan – Medical Product Liability Lawyer

Michele Stephan

Michele Stephan handles defective medical device cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. Ms. Stephan has represented clients in civil litigation for over 20 years.  At mctlaw she litigates cases for clients with defective Pinnacle metal on metal hip replacements and failing Biomet metal on metal hip implants. Ms. Stephan has represented clients in civil litigation for over 20 years. Stephan is a member of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee and the Sarasota County Bar Association Programs Committee. 

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