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Decline in Mobility Cited by New DePuy Hip Injury Lawsuit

Lady JusticeDeborah and Glen Eichel have brought a new DePuy hip injury lawsuit , claiming that the Pinnacle hip implant designed and marketed by the defendants is defective and caused debilitating complications. Their lawsuit joins the DePuy multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2244, which is currently proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas before Judge Ed Kinkeade. The complaint was filed on December 17, 2014, not long after a jury rendered a verdict in the first bellwether trial for the MDL.

As part of the MDL, any rulings on motions and other matters pertaining to the discovery process apply to the Eichel complaint. However, the plaintiffs retain their right to an individual Pinnacle hip trial, should they choose not to accept any settlement offers that may be forthcoming from the defendants. If a settlement does not resolve this case, it will be remanded back to its home district following the conclusions of the rest of the bellwether trials.

Plaintiff required revision surgery

According to the hip injury lawsuit the plaintiffs filed against DePuy, Deborah Eichel underwent a total right hip arthroplasty on March 24, 2010. This procedure involves the removal of the entire hip joint and the placement of an artificial prosthesis. Deborah Eichel received the Pinnacle hip implant system, which is a type of metal-on-metal hip implant. To implant the Pinnacle system, the surgeon inserts a metal femoral stem inside the femur bone. Then, a metal femoral head connects to the top of the stem. It also makes contact with a metal liner, which in turn is attached to the inside of a metal acetabular cup. The exterior of the acetabular cup is composed of titanium. The metal femoral head can rotate to accommodate the movement of the patient.

However, according to this lawsuit and many others filed against DePuy, the Pinnacle system has an unusually high rate of early failure, requiring many plaintiffs to seek revision surgery. Deborah Eichel underwent a revision surgery on January 16, 2014 in an attempt to correct complications allegedly due to the Pinnacle device, including ongoing pain. The plaintiff has also complained of a decline in mobility. The pain and soreness of the hip joint has made it difficult for her to walk and enjoy her usual activities.

Plaintiff claims inadequate testing, failure to warn

This lawsuit claims that DePuy knew of the risk of hip injuries to plaintiffs, yet failed to issue adequate warnings to patients and healthcare providers. The lawsuit states that if the defendants had not concealed the known risks, early failure rate, and other complications associated with the Pinnacle device, the plaintiff would never have consented to receive this particular hip implant.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs claim that the defendants did not conduct adequate testing of their medical device before introducing it into the stream of commerce. Had the defendants properly tested the Pinnacle implant, according to the complaint, they would have been made aware of the high risk of metallosis, or heavy metal poisoning. This occurs as the metal components rub together during movement, generating metal ions that are released into the bloodstream and irritate local tissues.

Latest developments in DePuy MDL

With thousands of lawsuits pending against DePuy regarding the Pinnacle system, the defendants face an uphill battle. A little more than a month prior to the filing of the Eichels’ complaint, a jury rendered the first verdict for a bellwether trial in the MDL, which unexpectedly favored the defendants. However, this verdict is not binding upon any other case pending in the MDL. It is entirely possible that subsequent verdicts will result in significant compensation for plaintiffs and that the defendants may begin to consider settlement negotiations.