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A Plaintiff Who Received Pinnacle Devices in Both Hips Files A Lawsuit Against Manufacturer DePuy

On September 25, 2012, a new lawsuit was filed by a DePuy hip lawyer against DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. The plaintiff, Charlie Tyler of Mississippi filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, where the current Pinnacle multidistrict litigation (MDL) is located.

On April 9, 2007, plaintiff Tyler underwent a total hip replacement of the left hip and received the Pinnacle hip device along with a DePuy metal liner forming a metal-on-metal implant.

On November 14, 2007, he received a total hip replacement on his right hip and again received a Pinnacle implant. After the second surgery, he began to suffer severe pain, discomfort, and had difficulty walking.

DePuy accused of not conducting clinical trials, nor notifying the medical community and consumer of possible problems

The lawsuit states that had DePuy conducted clinical trials prior to releasing the device onto the market, they would have known about the possible complications. Even after the problems became prevalent, DePuy still failed to warn the public and medical community and continued selling the device.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated each federal lawsuit against Pinnacle hip into an MDL in the Northern District of Texas. This action was done on May 23, 2011. The Honorable James E Kinkeade was appointed to oversee proceedings and the first bellwether trial is scheduled to begin on September 1, 2014.

Pinnacle the subject of more than 1,300 adverse events reports

The lawsuit alleges that the Pinnacle device was the subject of more than 1,300 reports of adverse events and should have been recalled by DePuy; at the very least, they should’ve notified the health care industry of the potential problems with the device. From his Pinnacle implant complications, Tyler claims to suffer emotional distress, severe—possibly permanent—injuries, economic damages, and continued pain. He also claims that he would not have accepted the Pinnacle devices had he known of the dangers.

Symptoms of those suffering from complications and failure have ranged from infection, pain, and inflammation to premature loosening, heavy metal poisoning and total failure.

Metal-on-metal devices can rub together and cause metal debris to enter the bloodstream

The lawsuit notes that the Pinnacle device has two component parts: acetabular cup and the liner. A surgeon and patient have three liners to choose from. One is made of cobalt-chromium metal, one is ceramic, and one is polyethylene plastic. If a metal liner is used, the implant becomes a metal-on-metal device. With a metal-on-metal device, studies have shown that the risk of components rubbing against one another and depositing metallic debris into the hip socket and the bloodstream is increased.

The complaint reads: “because of Defendants’ defective design for the Pinnacle Device, hundreds of plaintiffs—including Plaintiff—have been forced to undergo surgeries to replace the failed hip implants.”

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