DePuy Lawsuits Move Forward As First Bellwether Trial Is Set For September And Alleged Recipients Were Injured Due To The Failure of Pinnacle Hip Implants.
Wright & Schulte LLC reports that the first bellwether jury trials for two DePuy Pinnacle Hip lawsuits are scheduled to begin September 1, 2014, in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas. The two complaints are representative of the 6,207 DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits pending in the Texas federal court where U.S. District James E. Kinkeade is presiding over the multidistrict litigation. The DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits similarly allege that the plaintiffs suffered serious injuries, such as metallosis (metal poisoning and bone loss, as a result of the premature failure of their DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. The two DePuy Hip bellwether trials have claims common to the other cases in the MDL and may predict how those cases will proceed in the future. (In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation -MDL 2244)
The firm is currently representing men and women in DePuy Hip Lawsuits and continues to speak with people who believe they have suffered side-effect from the DePuy Hip replacement system. For a free legal evaluation contact an a attorney at Wright & Schulte LLC by calling 1-800-399-9795 or visit www.yourlegalhelp.com for more information.
Court documents indicate that Judge Kinkeade will preside over the bellwether cases which are brought by two Montana residents against DePuy Orthopedics, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Inc. The first bellwether lawsuit states that the plaintiff received a DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal implant for her right hip in September 2006 and an implant for her left hip in April 2007. According to the DePuy Pinnacle complaint, the woman had her first surgery in 2010 to remove the implants and had additional surgeries afterward. The plaintiff in the second bellwether lawsuit alleges that she experienced severe pain shortly after receiving a DePuy Pinnacle all-metal hip implant in 2009. According to the lawsuit, the woman had the left hip implant removed in April 2011. Both lawsuits contend that the plaintiffs had high levels of cobalt and chromium in their blood and metallosis due to the failure of the metal-on-metal hip implant. The bellwether hip replacement lawsuits also purport that the design of the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system is defective and the DePuy failed to provide adequate warning of the safety risks associated with the all-metal hip implants.
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) metal is released from hip implant components during walking or running. Tiny metal particles that wear off can fall around the implant and cause damage to the bone or soft tissue surrounding the implant and joint. Soft tissue damage may lead to the medical device failing and elevating metal ion levels in the implant recipient’s bloodstream. In January 2013, the FDA issued a safety communication that included cautionary guidelines for physicians and patients regarding metal-on-metal hip implant systems. The federal agency recommended that physicians choose an all-metal implant for their patients only after determining that the risks and benefits of using a metal-on-metal hip implant outweighs that of using another type of hip replacement system.
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm335775.htm, January 17, 2013]
The FDA also proposed regulatory changes in January 2013 that required hip replacement systems to undergo the same type of rigid process that new products are subject to before they are approved by the FDA for sale. The FDA’s changes now requires manufacturers of hip replacement systems to prove that their products are safe and effective before the FDA will allow them to continue to sell their medical devices. Four months after the FDA announced its regulatory changes, Johnson & Johnson said it would no longer sell metal-on-metal and ceramic-on-metal hip replacement systems, due, in part, to the FDA’s proposed regulatory changes and declining sales of the hip implant systems.
[bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-16/j-j-will-stop-sales-of-metal-on-metal-hip-replacements.html, Bloomberg.com, May 17, 2013]
Court documents regarding the bellwether trials for the MDL show that DePuy filed motions asking Judge Kinkeade for summary judgments regarding some of the plaintiffs’ claims, a motion to exclude testimony of six of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses, a motion to quash deposition notices for two plaintiffs’ witnesses and a motion to dismiss the two bellwether cases because the court has no personal jurisdiction over DePuy or Johnson & Johnson. Judge Kinkeade issued three opinions on July 18th denying all of DePuy’s motions. In the order denying the motion to dismiss the cases, Judge Kinkeade said that the Texas court had jurisdiction over the defendants. The judge further wrote that the plaintiffs’ claims, such as the defendants’ failure to warn about the risks associated with the Pinnacle hip implants, raises issues of fact that should be decided at trial.
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