A trial involving the first of thousands of hip replacement patients to sue DePuy over its Pinnacle device is underway in Dallas. More than 6,000 lawsuits have been filed against the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary claiming its hip implant is defective and caused a number of medical problems.
In this first case, a Missouri woman, Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli claims both of the Pinnacle devices she had implanted in 2009 were faulty and caused her to have pain, dangerous levels of cobalt and chromium in the blood and ultimately revision surgery. She required a total of five hip replacement surgeries. Herlihy-Paoli is one of the bellwether plaintiffs chosen from the large pool of people who have filed suit.
This small group of cases is being argued in front of juries under U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade. Legal analysts say the outcomes of these trials will set the tone for the remaining cases in the multidistrict litigation and could determine if Johnson & Johnson settles in the future.
Herlihy-Paoli’s attorney claims DePuy did not thoroughly test the Pinnacle implant and continued to market the device to doctors despite known deficiencies and defects. Herlihy-Paoli is suing for damages related to physical injuries, loss of earnings, and emotional distress.
In a statement to Bloomberg News, a DePuy spokeswoman said the Pinnacle hips were “thoroughly tested over more than a decade.” In August 2013, Johnson & Johnson stopped selling the metal-on-metal version of the Pinnacle device after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it would require new versions of the implant to be submitted for pre-market approval.
Last year, Johnson & Johnson settled for $2.5 billion to resolve a case involving 8,000 patients implanted with the DePuy ASR device. The company recalled 93,000 of the implants in 2010 because of a high failure rate.
The trial involving the Pinnacle hip implant is expected to continue in Dallas over the next several weeks. Attorneys with Maglio Christopher & Toale plan on attending some of the proceedings to learn more about the case. If you have experienced adverse effects from a hip implant device and would like more information about your legal options, contact us by filling out the form on our website or call us toll-free at 888-952-5242.
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