Pinnacle Hip Trial Update: DePuy Blames Surgeons


Attorney Altom Maglio Attends Pinnacle Trial in Dallas

Attorney Altom Maglio, who filed the first of the current metal-on-metal hip lawsuits in the United States, is in Dallas, TX this week attending the Pinnacle hip trial.  Mr. Maglio, and co-counsel Brian Franciskato feel strongly that to best represent their Pinnacle and ASR hip clients they need to be in the courtroom during the bellwether trial.  Altom Maglio offers this live legal analysis of the case.

DePuy Says Surgeons to Blame- Not Pinnacle Hip Design

Earlier today at the metal on metal DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement trial, two orthopedic surgeons who had raised issues with the safety of the device were called “outliers” by DePuy and blamed for failures of the device.  The manufacturer of the device also indicated that it planned to blame the failure of the two hip replacements implanted in the plaintiff on a third orthopedic surgeon.

Lead trial counsel for DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, repeatedly asked DePuy executive Pamela Plouhar questions critical of leading British orthopedic surgeon Tony Nargol.  Mr. Nargol (British surgeons are referred to as “mister”) had been an early major user of the metal on metal Pinnacle hip replacements and a DePuy consultant before he stopped using the product and alerted DePuy that a high number of his patient’s hips were failing.  In questioning today, DePuy blamed Mr. Nargol for the failure rate, denying that the problem was with the Pinnacle metal on metal hip replacement.  Counsel for DePuy asked the witness regarding Mr. Nargol’s surgeries “You want to know why Dr. Nargol can’t get it right?”

DePuy’s lawyers and company executive Pamela Plouhar also told the jury that an American orthopedic surgeon was at fault for a high failure rate of the metal on metal Pinnacle in his patients.  The testimony focused on John F. Irving, M.D., a board certified, Mayo Clinic trained orthopedic surgeon who is an Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine.  Dr. Irving had been selected by DePuy to provide data on the success of the metal on metal Pinnacle hip replacement.  There was testimony that when his patient’s hip replacement began failing at a rate greater than he expected, Dr. Irving became concerned and contacted DePuy.  He did this repeatedly.  Pamela Plouhar testified that Dr. Irving was the reason for the failures, not the Pinnacle metal on metal hip replacement.

DePuy Legal Strategy Likely to Blame Plaintiff’s Surgeon for Pinnacle Hip Problems

Toward the end of the day, it became apparent that DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. would be blaming the surgeon that implanted the Pinnacle metal on metal hips in Plaintiff Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli for the failure of those hip replacements.  DePuy identified David H. Allmacher, M.D., as the surgeon that implanted both Pinnacle metal on metal hips in the plaintiff.  DePuy indicated that Dr. Allmacher had improperly positioned both cups, causing them to fail.

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