Patients who have been implanted with a DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System.
Hip pain, implant failure, implant loosening, trouble walking or standing, metal poisoning, clicking or popping noise in the hip area, revision surgery.
DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson
The DePuy Pinnacle hip system is a total hip arthroplasty designed to offer increased mobility in patients.
Type of Lawsuit
Patients who were implanted with DePuy Orthopaedics’ Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System and suffered from hip implant failure or other complications may have legal recourse.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed alleging that the hip replacements contain a design defect, which can lead to early hip implant failure and metal poisoning, and seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Can I File a DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit?
If you were implanted with a metal-on-metal DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System and suffered pain, required revision surgery, or experienced other problems, you may have legal recourse. However, only an attorney will be able to determine whether you can file a lawsuit seeking compensation from Johnson & Johnson for injuries caused by your implant.
In May 2011, all federally-filed cases were consolidated to a single court for pretrial proceedings. The cases were consolidated under a procedure known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). Consolidation relieves the courts’ burden of hearing thousands of individual lawsuits, saves time and money, and helps ensure consistent rulings. Unlike in a class action, plaintiffs will retain their own lawyer and the right to recover an individual monetary award. It is not too late for patients who were fitted with the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant to have their case included in the MDL. Any cases filed after the consolidation can still be added to the litigation. There is, however, a time limit for filing this claim, as a statute of limitations may apply.
What Are the Lawsuits Alleging?
Defective Design Causes Serious Injuries
The suits allege the device releases toxic levels of metal particles into patients’ bloodstreams when the two metal components rub against each other as part of the normal performance of the implant. This, in turn, can lead to pain, bone loss and problems moving the affected joint. Patients have also reported metallosis, a form of poisoning caused by the buildup of metal particles in the body. The allegedly defective design of the DePuy Pinnacle device is believed to be the cause of the metal erosion.
Other injuries cited by the suits include the following:
Hip implant loosening
DePuy Pinnacle failure
Trouble walking or standing
Need for an additional hip replacement surgery
J&J Continued “Aggressive” Marketing of DePuy Pinnacle Despite Reports of Failures
The lawsuits also allege DePuy knew that more than 1300 reports had been filed with the FDA about failures with the Pinnacle implant, yet continued to market the product as a suitable hip replacement. The company’s marketing, described by many as aggressive, touted the device as long-lasting, specifically because its metal components were said to be superior to polyethylene and ceramic alternatives.
Clinical Trials Were Not Conducted, Lawsuit Claims
Patients have also alleged the company did not conduct clinical trials, which would have revealed the product’s problems and prevented future injuries.
Pinnacle hip implants were approved pursuant to 510(k) of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Under this provision, medical devices can “skip” testing if they’re shown by the manufacturer to be similar in nature to an already approved product. In this case, the “predicate device” was DePuy’s ASR hip implant, which was taken off the market in 2010.
Johnson & Johnson is facing claims for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, liability, and fraudulent concealment for using the 510k approval process and not subjecting the Pinnacle implant to rigorous pre-market testing.
Pinnacle Injuries Are Similar to Those Cited in ASR Recall
Patients implanted with the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hips are allegedly suffering injuries similar to those experienced by recipients of the DePuy ASR hip systems. The ASR hips were recalled in August 2010 after the manufacturer found the devices were failing earlier than expected. Both hip replacements share a similar metal-on-metal design, which allegedly releases high levels of metallic ions into patients’ bodies.