A federal judge overseeing a multidistrict litigation against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics has ordered DePuy to provide the plaintiffs with compliance reports on its metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implant.
More than 900 individual lawsuits have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in U.S. District Court for Northern Texas under Judge Ed Kinkeade, MassDevice reports. The lawsuits accuse DePuy Orthopaedics of negligence, fraud, and improper design, manufacture, and marketing of the Pinnacle system. Pinnacle hip implant recipients allege the hip’s faulty design caused problems including severe swelling, pain, bone and tissue damage, and loosening of the implant. Recipients often needed additional surgery to remove and replace the implant.
DePuy argued that the compliance reports are not relevant to Pinnacle lawsuits because they are not “focused on DePuy’s conduct with respect to the Pinnacle System,” according to court documents. But, MassDevice reports, the judge disagreed, and, according to court documents, he ruled that the reports “expressly address issues related to the sale and marketing of hip and knee reconstruction and replacement products, which includes the Pinnacle system.”
In the ruling, Judge Kinkeade said the reports contain relevant information about the relationships between DePuy and doctors who use or promote DePuy devices, according to MassDevice. The reports describe how “DePuy consultants market DePuy products through speaking engagements, resident training courses, and sponsorship of continuing medical education programs at conferences.” Such information, Kinkeade wrote, “could lead to the discovery of admissible evidence on the claims that DePuy failed to correctly warn physicians of Pinnacle system dangers, negligently recommended the product, and supplied false information to physicians.”