The First Bellwether Trial in the DePuy Orthopaedics Litigation Involving Metallosis Allegations is Underway in Texas This Week, Parker Waichman LLP Comments

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The results of the first bellwether trial is expected to provide valuable information concerning the direction of litigation involving the DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Replacement Device.

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“Parker Waichman LLP continues to represent individuals who have allegedly suffered injuries associated with DePuy metal hip replacement devices and is pleased to see the Pinnacle litigation moving forward,” said Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney.

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, notes that Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit is facing its first bellwether trial over its Pinnacle hip device. The case is Herlihy-Paoli v. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas) (Case No.: 11-cv-3590).

According to a report dated September 2, 2014, Bloomberg.com indicated that Johnson & Johnson had put aside $2.5 billion in 2013 to resolve claims associated with 8,000 of its DePuy ASR hip replacement devices; however, this bellwether involves a different class of DePuy hip devices—the Pinnacle—and allegations that the metal devices led to blood and tissue poisoning, a condition known as metallosis. The $2.5 billion settlement involved Johnson & Johnson’s ASR hip devices and allegations of dislocation, pain, and the need for revision surgery. Some patients alleged that metal debris shed from the chromium and cobalt metal-on-metal hip replacement devices, which led to tissue death and increased blood metal ion levels.

This new round of lawsuits involves allegations that the chromium and cobalt metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip is defective and caused metal debris to shed and leech into the bloodstreams of patients implanted with the device. In this first bellwether, the Plaintiff, Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, alleges that the metal led to an infection that involved her having to undergo revision surgery to have both artificial hips explanted, or removed, according to the Bloomberg.com report.

Jury selection began on September 2nd in the first of the more than 6,000 cases that have been consolidated for pretrial information exchanges before U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade in Dallas, who is presiding over this trial. “The first trials in any of these consolidated litigations set the tone for the following cases,” Carl Tobias, who teaches product liability law at the University of Richmond in Virginia, told Bloomberg.com. “If J&J loses the first couple of these Pinnacle trials, they better start seriously thinking about coming up with a settlement similar to what they signed off on for the ASR hips.”

Parker Waichman LLP recently represented a woman from Maricopa, Arizona who suffered a number of serious health problems that were allegedly caused by the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant. The firm is suing DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson on the Plaintiff’s behalf, and filed the lawsuit on December 16, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Case No.: 3:13-cv-04892-K; MDL No. 3:11-md-02244).

“Parker Waichman LLP continues to represent individuals who have allegedly suffered injuries associated with DePuy metal hip replacement devices and is pleased to see the Pinnacle litigation moving forward,” said Gary Falkowitz, Managing Attorney at the Firm.

The Pinnacle device is meant for use in reconstructing hip joints that become diseased due to conditions including, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis (AVN), fracture, and other degenerative conditions, notes Parker Waichman LLP. The Pinnacle is constructed of a metal ball that sits on top of a metal stem that is inserted into the thighbone. This metal ball rotates within a cup, modeling the “ball-and-socket” mechanism of a natural hip. The lawsuit alleges that this device releases toxic metal particles when paired with an “Ultamet” metal liner.

Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims of DePuy Pinnacle and other metal-on-metal hip implant injuries. If you or a loved one have experienced premature failure of your implant, or other health problems associated with the Pinnacle or other metal-on-metal hip replacement device, please contact its office by visiting the firm's DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits page at yourlawyer.com. Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

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