DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit Filed Over Five Failed Hip Replacements

Five people from across the country have joined together in a DePuy Pinnacle lawsuit that indicates they each suffered various complications from the metal-on-metal hip replacement, which is similar to the recently recalled DePuy ASR hip

The complaint was filed earlier this month in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson. Plaintiffs included in the lawsuit are Mark Santorelli and his wife, Frances, of Louisiana; Susan Hunter and her husband, Russell, of Texas; Lisa Chadek, of Washington; Jim Burgar, of Colorado; and Kevin Watts and his wife, Angela, of Virginia.

Each plaintiff alleges that that they suffered injuries and problems from a DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement, including elevated levels of cobalt in the blood, permanent disability, severe and prolonged pain, and other complications.

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According to allegations raised in the complaint, design defects with the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant cause an increased risk of microscopic metal particles being shed as the metal parts rub against each other. This may increase the risk of metallosis, biologic toxicity and lead to a high failure rate.

DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson face a number of similar lawsuits over their DePuy ASR hip, which is another metal-on-metal design. A DePuy ASR hip recall was issued in August 2010, after post-marketing data confirmed that the hip design was associated with a failure rate of 12% to 13% within 5 years. However, more recent estimates suggest that nearly half of recalled DePuy ASR hip replacements may lead to problems within six years, requiring people to undergo risky revision surgery.

The recently filed DePuy lawsuit alleges that the ASR hip is substantially equivalent to the DePuy Pinnacle hip the plaintiffs received, and that both hip replacement systems are defective.

Over the past year, concerns about metal-on-metal hip replacements have been growing. In October, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) issued a warning about potential problems with metal on-metal hip replacements, indicating that patients and the medical community should be aware that pain months after hip replacement surgery may be a sign of metal-on-metal hip cobalt toxicity. In addition, the FDA launched a new website last month to provide information about the risks associated with metal-on-metal hip replacements.


  • TomApril 28, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Just today I learned my Pinnacle hip has caused high levels of cobalt and chromium in my blood. My hip is squeaking when I spend more than about 6 hours "standing" on it.

  • shawnApril 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm


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