U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade has selected seven DePuy hip injury bellwether cases to proceed to trial in the multidistrict injury litigation against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. unit. J&J had asked Judge Kinkeade to stay (pause) the cases pending J&J’s appeal of a previous $497.6 million injury-related verdict against the company, but he refused, slating the 7 bellwether cases to begin trials starting September 6, 2016. The other 8,800 cases in the MDL will be put on hold until all of the bellwether trials take place.
From 2002 to 2012, DePuy Orthapaedics manufactured metal-on-metal hip implants sold under the brand name Pinnacle hip with a metal liner (called the Ultamet metal liner); however, this metal-on-metal version of the hip implant has failed in many patients. Patients charge that the DePuy Pinnacle hip with the Ultamet metal liner suffers from design and manufacturing defects. These alleged defects cause excessive amounts of metallic particles, cobalt and chromium, to wear from the surface of the acetabular insert or from the implant’s femoral head.
As a result, microscopic shavings and metal debris are released into the tissue surrounding the patient’s artificial hip and into the bloodstream. This can lead to a condition called metallosis, or an excessive exposure to metal, which is characterized by a painful inflammatory reaction in the tissue and a high blood metal count. Ultimately, the defective artificial hip implants fail and must be replaced in a revision surgery.
The first trial against J&J and DePuy for the defective medical device commenced in September 2014. Johnson & Johnson is now in the process of appealing a $497.6 million verdict from March 2016 in favor of five plaintiffs.
The MDL is In re: DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, case number 3:11-md-02244, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Contact a DePuy Pinnacle Hip Injury Attorney
Lieff Cabraser represents patients across America in personal injury lawsuits against DePuy, Johnson & Johnson, and other hip implant manufacturers over allegations of defective and dangerous prosthetic products. Over the last 20 years, Lieff Cabraser has assisted thousands of patients recover millions in judgments and settlements in medical device injury cases. If you have been injured by a Depuy Pinnacle hip implant, or any similar hip device, our injury attorneys encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation review of your case.