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DePuy Faces New Round of All-Metal Hip Lawsuits

DePuy Orthopedics Faces Poisoning Lawsuits Related to Pinnacle All-Metal Hips

all-metal hipJury selection began on September 2nd for plaintiff Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli’s personal injury bellwether trial against DePuy Orthopedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson which produces metal- on-metal hip implants that allegedly caused numerous injuries and problems, including metallosis.

Metallosis occurs in the body when a metal implant, such as DePuy’s Pinnacle all-metal hip implants, begins to degrade which releases metal particles into the blood stream, leading to poisoning. In the case of Herlihy-Paoli, when surgeons removed her left artificial hip, they discovered the implant had turned black with metallosis,” according to court filings.

The 58-year-old plaintiff received two Pinnacle hips in 2009, but began to complain about pain in her hips related to the devices shortly after her surgery. She was forced to have both DePuy all-metal hip devices removed in 2011. Before her surgery, blood tests revealed the “implants had released dangerous levels of cobalt and chromium into her bloodstream,” according to court filings. “Tests indicated that Mrs. Paoli’s cobalt blood serum levels were 85 times higher than normal.”

Herlihy-Paoli’s personal injury lawsuit is the first in over 6,000 cases in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) alleging that DePuy’s all-metal Pinnacle hip devices were misrepresented as safe, and the company was negligent toward patients and their doctors.

DePuy and J&J recently settled another round of all-metal hip implant lawsuits, involving DePuy’s model ASR hip, for $250,000 per plaintiff. The lawsuit settled with 8,000 plaintiffs in an MDL in November of last year.

“In their continued marketing of the Pinnacle devices in spite of known deficiencies and defects, defendants’ actions were beyond all bounds of decency, were atrocious and of a kind utterly intolerable in a civilized society,” Herlihy-Paoli claimed in the court papers.

J&J spokespeople deny the allegations, stating that the all-metal hip implants were “thoroughly tested over more than a decade.” DePuy originally claimed that both their ASR and Pinnacle all-metal hips were more durable than plastic or ceramic varieties, and would last longer than 5 years. However, the all-metal hip implants’ failure rate was high, as metal pieces ground together and released shards of metal into the patients’ blood streams. Many of the all-metal hips failed within the first 3 years after surgery.

The FDA received 300 complaints regarding device failure and personal injury from the DePuy all-metal hip implants. An estimate suggested that around 35,000 all-metal DePuy ASR hip implants had been used on United States patients between 2006 and 2010, when DePuy recalled 93,000 units of the all-metal hip device.

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

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.



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