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Texas Plaintiff Joins DePuy Pinnacle Hip Lawsuit MDL

Tammy Kay Sallee, a resident of Rusk County, Texas, has filed a Pinnacle hip lawsuit against DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. The complaint was filed on July 2, 2013. It alleges failure of the hip implant devices that were designed and manufactured by the defendants. This case joins the multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2244, which is proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas under Judge Ed Kinkeade.

A multidistrict litigation is formed when the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) determines that multiple lawsuits share common statements of fact and allegations against a defendant. The MDL allows plaintiffs to share pretrial proceedings in an effort to avoid duplicative discovery and accelerate the process. The DePuy MDL lists over 1,800 plaintiffs, who allege that the hip implants manufactured by the defendants are defective and have caused physical injuries.

Plaintiff requires revision surgeries

Many plaintiffs in the DePuy MDL have received a Pinnacle hip implant in one of their hips. However, Tammy Kay Sallee received implants in both of her hips. The alleged failure of these devices has caused her significant mobility problems, according to her Pinnacle hip lawyer.

On November 9, 2005, Sallee underwent a total right hip arthroplasty to remove her natural hip joint and replace it with the Pinnacle device. She had a similar procedure on December 12, 2006, to receive the same type of device in her left hip. Subsequently, the plaintiff reported significant pain in both of her hips. The severe discomfort combined with her mobility problems lead her to believe that she will require hip revision surgeries in order to remove the allegedly defective devices and replace them. Many plaintiffs who have undergone revision surgeries continue to experience persistent discomfort and other symptoms.

Failure to warn alleged

The Pinnacle hip device is made up of cobalt-chromium alloy stem, a metal head that adheres to the top of the stem, a metal liner, and a metal acetabulum cup. In other words, it’s known as a “metal-on-metal” hip implant device. These metal-on-metal hip devices have been linked to an increased risk of heavy metal toxicity, corrosion and fretting, and device failure when the metal components rub together and create friction, which releases metal ions into the bloodstream.

According to the plaintiff’s Pinnacle hip injury lawyer, Sallee was unaware of these significant risks when she agreed to undergo both initial surgeries. The complaint contends that the defendants did not issue adequate warnings regarding the potential for corrosion, failure, and physical injuries. Had she known of the risks, the plaintiff claims she never would have consented to the hip implants.

Lawyer alleges inadequate testing

In addition to charging the company with failure to warn, this Pinnacle hip lawsuit claims that DePuy did not adequately test the implant. It is possible that more extensive clinical trials could have protected consumers. Instead, DePuy bypassed the usual rigorous standards set forth by the FDA for their approval process, and sought approval to market the device via the 510(k) process. The 510(k) process allowed the defendants to avoid stringent FDA review and clinical trials.