National law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, just filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Utah woman who alleges she suffered injuries as a result of being implanted with a DePuy Orthopaedics’ Pinnacle hip implant device.
According to the lawsuit, the hip replacement is prone to a higher risk of complications because of its defective metal-on-metal design. The DePuy Pinnacle is a type of metal-on-metal hip implant, which is in a class of medical devices that came under intense scrutiny following a worldwide DePuy ASR device recall in 2010.
The lawsuit was filed on January 11th in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Case No. 3:13-cv-00132-K) and is one of numerous cases filed into the multidistrict litigation (MDL) entitled In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 3:11-md-02244). DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson have been named as defendants. DePuy is a unit of Johnson & Johnson.
According to the complaint, the woman was implanted with the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant in her left hip in April 2006. Following the surgery, she suffered a number of damages, allegedly due to the use of the DePuy implant. The lawsuit alleges that the woman suffered, and will continue to suffer, from physical and mental pain and suffering along with past, present, and future medical expenses related to her injuries.
The lawsuit also alleges that the damages suffered by the woman were caused by the defective design, warnings, construction, and unreasonably dangerous character of the Pinnacle device. Also, according to the lawsuit, the woman would never have agreed to implantation with the DePuy Pinnacle device had she been fully informed of the risks.
The DePuy Pinnacle is a type of metal-on-metal hip implant, a class of medical devices that came under intense scrutiny following the DePuy ASR recall in 2010. The global recall, which affected 93,000 implants worldwide, including 37,000 in the United States, was launched following reports showing that the hip replacements failed in more than 12 percent of patients within five years.
Since, concerns have mounted over the failure rates of metal-on-metal hip implants and whether or not they release toxic amounts of metal debris.
In March, a study in the Lancet confirmed that metal-on-metal hip implants fail at a significantly higher rate than metal-on-plastic or metal-on-ceramic devices. The results of the study prompted the authors to call for an end to the use of all-metal hip replacements.
Last summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) convened a panel of experts to discuss the pros and cons of metal-on-metal hips and make recommendations for patient use. Overall, the panelists advised that metal hip patients undergo yearly physicals, imaging tests and possible blood screening for metal ions.