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Parker Waichman Files Lawsuit on Behalf of DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Recipient

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National law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, just filed a lawsuit on behalf of a New York man who allegedly suffered severe injuries after being implanted with a metal-on-metal Pinnacle Hip Implant device. The Pinnacle device, implanted for total hip replacement, is manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson.

Both DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson are named as defendants in the action that was filed on April 12, 2012, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Hundreds of other, similar, lawsuits are currently consolidated in the DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2244 (Case No. 3:11-md-02244) in Texas.

The plaintiff, who lives in Washington County, New York, alleges that he received a metal-on-metal version of DePuy’s Pinnacle Hip Implant System on his left side on January 3, 2007. The implant, according to the complaint, caused the plaintiff to suffer from extreme pain and elevated chromium and cobalt levels. The lawsuit also alleges that implantation of the Pinnacle Device causes the systemic release of high levels of toxic metal cobalt-chromium ions into every hip implant patient’s tissue and bloodstream. These particles then accumulate in the surrounding body tissue, which can lead to metallosis, pseudotumors, or other conditions, and can also lead to severe pain and discomfort, death of surrounding tissue and bone loss, and a lack of mobility.

The lawsuit also states that the

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U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has received in excess of 1,300 adverse reports concerning problems linked to or attributed to the DePuy Pinnacle Device and that problems associated with the implant are similar to issues that gave rise to the DePuy’s recall of the ASR Hip Implant device. Like the Pinnacle, the ASR is also prone to early failure, and causes metallosis and cobalt toxicity, which can lead to serious health problems and the need for revision surgery.

In August 2010, DePuy acknowledge the ASR’s high failure rate and issued a global recall of over 93,000 ASR devices.

Meanwhile, the FDA has become involved in the growing metal-on-metal hip implant debacle:

• The FDA is conducting a safety review of metal-on-metal hip implants, including DePuy’s ASR Hip Implant device and the all-metal version of the Pinnacle Hip Replacement.
• Last May, the agency directed 21 companies that market all-metal hip replacements, including DePuy, to conduct post-market studies of their products to determine if the devices were shedding dangerous amounts of metallic debris in patients.
• The FDA just announced that its Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel will meet June 27-28 to discuss the risks and benefits of all-metal hip systems, as well as potential patient and practitioner recommendations for their use.

Last month, a large study published in The Lancet revealed that there exists a 6.2% likelihood that patients with all-metal hips will require a replacement within five years and, most recently, NewsInferno wrote that in New Zealand, Australia, and some parts of Europe people were notified about another metal-on-metal hip device recall. The recalled MITCH THR device, also manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics, has been identified as experiencing early failure rate, specifically within three years following implantation. The MITCH THR was distributed by Stryker Corp., noted NewsInferno.

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