As DePuy All-Metal Hip Implant Trials Continue in US, European Regulator Finds Dangers in Hip Replacement Devices
The number of lawsuits alleging serious personal injury from DePuy’s all-metal hip replacement devices is approaching 7,000 in the United States alone. As the first bellwether trial against DePuy’s Pinnacle all-metal hip replacement device continues in Texas, a European regulatory agency has found that all-metal hip implants can cause serious, long-lasting injury.
The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Emerging Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) issued its final ruling on metal-on-metal (MoM) or all-metal hip implants, such as DePuy’s Pinnacle device, on October 9th. Their report concludes that all-metal hip implants release metal particles into the blood and tissue around the device, which can lead to local and/or systemic damage – aka, tissue damage, infection, and metallosis. Implants with large diameter “heads” show the highest incidence of such side effects. SCENIHR recommended that large-head all-metal hip implants be avoided in the future, because the side-effects in patients can be so devastating.
SCENIHR also recommended that other all-metal hip implants should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and the patient should have regular follow-ups with their doctor to ensure that the device is not rapidly degrading.
As scientists and regulatory agencies across the globe study the potential dangers of all-metal hip implants like the DePuy Pinnacle device, the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, continues in a Dallas US District Court.
As of September 30th, court documents for the MDL show that J&J and DePuy face 6,849 personal injury lawsuits alleging metallosis, tissue damage, infection, and pain related to the Pinnacle all-metal hip implant’s quick failure.
The first DePuy Pinnacle bellwether case, which began on September 1st, involves allegations from plaintiffs Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli and Toni M. Lay, who say that DePuy sold them unreasonably defective all-metal hip devices that were poorly designed and doomed to fail. Ms. Herlihy-Paoli received a Pinnacle hip replacement device in 2009, but soon afterward she returned to her physician with complaints about pain at the surgical site. Her surgeon determined that the pieces of the all-metal hip device were rubbing together, destroying tissue and dislodging metal fragments, which released flakes of metal into the plaintiff’s bloodstream. In April 2011 – just two years after Herlihy-Paoli received the all-metal hip replacement – her surgeon had to remove the device.
Ms. Toni Lay, another plaintiff in the first bellwether trial, received her first DePuy Pinnacle in her right hip in 2006, followed by a second replacement hip the next year. Within four years of her first hip replacement surgery, her doctors found that she had dangerously high levels of cobalt and chromium in her bloodstream, and there was significant tissue death around the all-metal devices.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DePuy Pinnacle Personal Injury Cases
Side effects of failure in all-metal hip replacement devices, like the DePuy Pinnacle or Stryker, include:
- Pseudotumors from metal debris
- Allergic reactions
- Permanent muscle and tissue damage
- Loose hip cups
- Hip dislocations
- Bone fractures
- Metallosis of the blood
If you or a loved one has received a metal hip replacement device, specifically such as the DePuy Pinnacle, and have since suffered painful side effects, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800.