The first bellwether jury trial began yesterday over the controversial DePuy Pinnacle hip implant that has caused thousands of patients to needlessly suffer as a result of the product’s defective design and questionable marketing practices.
Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, claims the metal hips made by J&J, the world’s largest health-care company, leaked cobalt and chromium material into her bloodstream, causing an infection and other complications that ultimately required the devices to be surgically removed.
This marks the first jury trial over the DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant device that was first brought to market by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics in 2005. With more than 6,000 cases now pending in the Pinnacle MDL consolidated before the Honorable U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, allegations of inadequate testing, failure to warn and defective design of the hip implant device will all be discussed and debated. The Pinnacle jury trial is expected to last 6-8 weeks.
J&J’s DePuy unit ignored signs the Pinnacle hips suffered from design flaws and assured doctors the metal devices worked “99.9 percent of the time,” Mark Lanier, a lawyer for a Montana woman who sued after complications forced her to have the device removed, told jurors today in Dallas federal court on the first day of trial of her lawsuit.
Although not recalled like the DePuy ASR hip implants, Bloomberg.com reports that:
J&J stopped selling the metal-on-metal version of the Pinnacle hip in August 2013 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it would require device makers to submit new versions of the artificial hips for pre-market approval.
J&J touted the metal-on-metal implants, first sold in the U.S. in 2005, as a design that would last 20 years and offer greater range of motion.
Patents all over the world, and doctors alike, now know these claims are simply inaccurate and completely misleading. It is yet another prime example of Big Pharma putting profits over people.
The case is Herlihy-Paoli v. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., 12-cv-3590, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).
As more develops in this trial it will be updated here.