New DePuy Hip Implant Targeted for Safety Concerns

by Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley
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How does one of the largest, well-known orthopedic device manufacturers in the world produce a hip implant that poisons, putrefies and requires premature replacement?

It decides that immediate profit outweighs testing and evaluation sufficient to protect patients.

DePuy Orthopedics, Inc., a prominent medical device maker, released their model of a hip implant in 2000 and called it the PINNACLE® Hip System. It was a hip replacement model for the ball-and-socket joint of the hip. The DePuy PINNACLE® comes in three different models: Metal-on-metal, ceramic, and polyethylene (plastic). Ironically, the metal-on-metal model was designed to reduce the failure rate of past models, when it did quite the opposite.

There were inherent problems with its initial design, creating far greater risks for patients. The strategy of the metal-on-metal joint created corrosion within the ball and socket. Perhaps more lethal though was the leaching out of the implant such lethal heavy metals as cobalt and chromium into the blood stream.

Other effects of the implant included:

  • Inflammation of the joint, which can be a problem when walking and performing day-to-day tasks.
  • Metallosis and the release of heavy metals into the patient’s body.
  • Loosening of the implant, requiring revision or replacement.
  • Bone fractures near and around the impact site.
  • Complete dislocation of the implant itself.

Hip-replacement
Today, there are more than 5,400 claims as a result of injuries suffered from the use of the DePuy PINNACLE®. Those claims have been filed in an MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas under supervision of Judge James E. Kinkeade.

In December of 2012, patients were examined for any issues of metallosis and revision surgeries for the plaintiffs began as well. In a hearing in February of 2012, Judge Kinkeade gave detailed instructions regarding the preservation of the defective implants. In May 2013, DePuy negotiated a deal with the government, which allowed avoidance of jail time by their agreement to:

  • pay for any damages caused by the DePuy PINNACLE® implant;
  • admit their mistakes; and,
  • implement an ethics and oversight program in the company.

The first trial in the country against DePuy Orthopedics regarding PINNACLE® implants will be held September 1, 2014 before MDL Judge Edward Kinkeade in the Federal Court in Dallas, Texas. The judge chose the cases of seven plaintiffs to be organized for the first trials. Depositions along with other pre-trial discovery have been completed over the past year in these cases.

These trials have been long awaited by trial lawyers and their long-suffering patients who need justice and fair compensation for their injuries.

- See more at: http://www.searcymasstort.com/blog/2014/07/16/new-depuy-hip-implant-targeted-safety-concerns/#sthash.Tz03rZUm.dpuf

How does one of the largest, well-known orthopedic device manufacturers in the world produce a hip implant that poisons, putrefies and requires premature replacement?

It decides that immediate profit outweighs testing and evaluation sufficient to protect patients.

DePuy Orthopedics, Inc., a prominent medical device maker, released their model of a hip implant in 2000 and called it the PINNACLE® Hip System. It was a hip replacement model for the ball-and-socket joint of the hip. The DePuy PINNACLE® comes in three different models: Metal-on-metal, ceramic, and polyethylene (plastic). Ironically, the metal-on-metal model was designed to reduce the failure rate of past models, when it did quite the opposite.

There were inherent problems with its initial design, creating far greater risks for patients. The strategy of the metal-on-metal joint created corrosion within the ball and socket. Perhaps more lethal though was the leaching out of the implant such lethal heavy metals as cobalt and chromium into the blood stream.

Other effects of the implant included:

  • Inflammation of the joint, which can be a problem when walking and performing day-to-day tasks.
  • Metallosis and the release of heavy metals into the patient’s body.
  • Loosening of the implant, requiring revision or replacement.
  • Bone fractures near and around the impact site.
  • Complete dislocation of the implant itself.

Hip-replacementToday, there are more than 5,400 claims as a result of injuries suffered from the use of the DePuy PINNACLE®. Those claims have been filed in an MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas under supervision of Judge James E. Kinkeade.

In December of 2012, patients were examined for any issues of metallosis and revision surgeries for the plaintiffs began as well. In a hearing in February of 2012, Judge Kinkeade gave detailed instructions regarding the preservation of the defective implants. In May 2013, DePuy negotiated a deal with the government, which allowed avoidance of jail time by their agreement to:

  • pay for any damages caused by the DePuy PINNACLE® implant;
  • admit their mistakes; and,
  • implement an ethics and oversight program in the company.

The first trial in the country against DePuy Orthopedics regarding PINNACLE® implants will be held September 1, 2014 before MDL Judge Edward Kinkeade in the Federal Court in Dallas, Texas. The judge chose the cases of seven plaintiffs to be organized for the first trials. Depositions along with other pre-trial discovery have been completed over the past year in these cases.

These trials have been long awaited by trial lawyers and their long-suffering patients who need justice and fair compensation for their injuries.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley | Attorney Advertising

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