DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Lawsuit Claims Device Caused Victim’s Cobalt, Chromium Levels to Spike

A West Virginia woman has filed suit against Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopaedics unit, claiming the <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/DePuy-Pinnacle-Hip-Implant-Replacement-Recall-Lawsuit-Lawyer">DePuy Pinnacle hip implant caused her to develop unsafe blood levels of cobalt and chromium. The complaint also alleges the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant caused the plaintiff to suffer severe pain that hindered her ability to walk.

The DePuy Pinnacle is a metal-on-metal hip implant. It is similar in design to the <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/DePuy-Hip-Implant-Recall-Johnson-and-Johnson">DePuy ASR hip implant, which was recalled last August due to a high rate of early failures. Concerns have been growing for some time that such devices may shed small metal particles as its components rub against each other. This can cause tissue breakdown, bone loss, and even the formation of non-cancerous tumors. In October, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons issued a warning about the devices, while the Food & Drug Administration recently launched a website to provide information about metal-on-metal hip implants and their potential problems.

Delores Hatcher, the plaintiff in this latest DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuit, received her implant in 2009. Shortly after, she began experiencing pain and difficulty walking. In April 2011, Hatcher’s physician found high levels of meta-cobalt and chromium-1 in her blood. Hatcher claims that DePuy and Johnson & Johnson concealed the defects of the hip replacement in its marketing materials.

Among other things, Hatcher’s lawsuit points out that the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged DePuy and Johnson & Johnson with aggressively marketing the metal-on-metal implants by paying illegal kickbacks to doctors and medical facilities.

Hatcher joins a growing number of people who have filed suit over the Pinnacle hip implant. Recently, a motion was filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate all pending and future federal DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation (MDL), and possibly make them a part of the DePuy ASR hip implant litigation that has already been consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The DePuy Pinnacle hip implant litigation has the potential to become just as large as that which surrounds the DePuy ASR device.

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