Jury Hears Arguments Against J&J and DePuy for Ignoring All-Metal Hip Implant Failures for Profit
As the 7-week personal injury trial of plaintiff Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli against DePuy’s all-metal Pinnacle hip implant continues, the jury heard accusations that Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics, ignored reports and evidence of DePuy Pinnacle hip implant failure could cause serious damage to patients, because they wanted to profit from the device.
This 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.
Their bellwether case is the first in about 6,000 personal injury lawsuits consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) against DePuy Orthopedics and J&J. DePuy recently agreed to settle another personal injury MDL involving their all-metal hip device, the ASR. Despite the recent settlement, however, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson said, “We are confident that the evidence shows that the company acted appropriately and responsibly in the development, testing and marketing of the product.” The company also argued in their closing statements that doctors made errors that led to problems with the all-metal hip devices, not the manufacturing company.
Herlihy-Paoli’s attorney, in his closing arguments, claimed that Johnson & Johnson intentionally ignored evidence that the all-metal hip devices, including the Pinnacle, were failing, degrading tissue, and causing metallosis. He has requested at least $1.4 million to cover his client’s ongoing medical expenses related to the all-metal hip implant failure, plus an unspecified amount in punitive damages.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DePuy Pinnacle Personal Injury Cases
Side effects of all-metal hip implant failure, 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.