In addition to a mounting number of DePuy ASR lawsuits filed in recent months over their recalled metal-on-metal hip replacement, DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson are now facing lawsuits over their DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement, which also allegedly has design defects that may make it prone to early failure.
Johnson & Johnson, and their DePuy subsidiary, issued a DePuy ASR hip recall in August 2010, after data suggested that a higher-than-expected number of patients were experiencing problems with the metal-on-metal hip replacement within a few years of their surgery.
The recall, which was issued after more than 90,000 of the defective hip implants were sold, came about a year and a half after the first lawsuits over DePuy ASR hip problems were filed.
There are now more than 100 lawsuits that have been consolidated in federal court as part of the DePuy ASR recall litigation, and many lawyers expect that thousands of complaints over ASR hip replacements will eventually be filed. The suits all involve similar allegations that design problems with the DePuy ASR hip system cause the metal parts to rub against each other and shed microscopic metal particles into the body, which can lead to failure of the hip replacement within a few years.
The DePuy Pinnacle hip is a different metal-on-metal hip replacement product made by the Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopaedics, which recent lawsuits now allege has similar design defects that may make it likely to fail within a few years of implant.
On December 10, 2010, a DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington by David Cornis and his wife, Judith. According to the complaint, Cornis had a hip replacement in 2007 where a DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip was used. Since then, he indicates that he has had to undergo at least six surgeries to address problems caused by the metal poisoning from his DePuy Pinnacle hip.
Cornis alleges that metallic ions and metal particles caused by friction from the hip implant’s metal-on-metal construction led to the destruction of the surrounding tissue and the formation of large and painful tumors. According to the complaint, during his first hip revision surgery, less than two and a half years after the DePuy Pinnacle hip was implanted, doctors discovered necrotizing muscle tissue that was “gray-covered” and had the appearance of “cooked chicken.”
Following multiple additional surgeries, Cornis alleges that he has been left with no functioning right hip as a result of the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement and will likely never be able to walk again without assistance.
Another DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuit was filed on November 30, 2010, by Grace Purnia in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Purnia alleges that she now suffers from an abnormal gait, nerve pain and other problems from a DePuy Pinnacle metal hip replacement in 2004. Her doctor has discovered that the shaft of the DePuy Pinnacle hip is loosening and slipping out of the cup, and she indicates that surgery to revise the DePuy Pinnacle hip is scheduled for January 2011.
Cornis and Purnia do not appear to be the only hip replacement patients suffering DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement problems. A search of the FDA’s adverse event reports database indicates that there were 548 complaints filed in 2010 by recipients of DePuy Pinnacle hip replacements. The reports include patients complaining about severe and debilitating hip and groin pain, doctors finding metal particles and signs of metallosis and reports of acetabular cups moving out of position.
Over the past year, concerns about metal-on-metal hip replacements have been growing. In October, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) issued 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, product liability lawyers are now reviewing potential metal-on-metal hip replacement lawsuits for a variety of different implants.
Tags: DePuy, DePuy ASR, Depuy ASR Hip, DePuy Pinnacle Hip, Hip Implant, Hip Replacement, Johnson & Johnson, Medical Device, Metal Hip Replacement, Metal-on-Metal Hip, Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement, Metallosis, Product Liability, Washington