We are DePuy ASR and DePuy Pinnacle recall attorneys and are providing this news update to the victims of Defective DePuy ASR Hips and DePuy Pinnacle Hips.
According to allegations raised in a new DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuit filed earlier this month, the manufacturer of the implant has known for some time that it was a defective and dangerous device, and should have removed it from the market years ago.
The complaint was filed in The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey against DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Johnson & Johnson and the designer of the metal-on-metal hip replacement.
The DePuy Pinnacle hip system was introduced in 2001, with some variations containing a metal liner instead of a polyethylene liner, which can result in microscopic metal particles being shed into the body as the metal parts of the hip replacement rub against each other. This can lead to inflammation, swelling, loosening of the parts and ultimately may cause the hip replacement to fail, resulting in the need for hip revision surgery.
The companies did issue a recall for the DePuy ASR hip replacement system in August 2010, due to problems that are similar to what has been reported in connection with the Pinnacle hip. The DePuy ASR was approved by the FDA in 2005 as a “substantially equivalent” design to the DePuy Pinnacle. Post-marketing data provided at the time of that recall indicated that the DePuy ASR failure rate was about 12-13%, but some estimates suggest that nearly 50% of the recalled ASR hip replacements may lead to failure problems within six years.
In October 2010, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) issued a warning about potential problems with metal on-metal hip replacements, indicating that patients and the medical community should be aware that pain months after hip replacement surgery may be a sign of metal-on-metal hip cobalt toxicity. The FDA launched a new website in February to provide information about the risks associated with metal-on-metal hip replacements.
The metal ions, usually cobalt or chromium, can damage bone and tissue around the implant and joint, causing the implant to become loose or causing the patient to feel pain. The particles can have effects on the heart, nervous system and thyroid when in the bloodstream at high levels.
In the U.K., health officials recommend patients with metal-on-metal hip implants that are causing them pain be tested for metal ions in the blood, but the FDA has yet to make similar recommendations. Metal-on-metal hip implant recipients should see their orthopedic surgeon if they experience symptoms including heart pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness, weakness, changes in vision or hearing, fatigue, unexplained cold, weight gain or changes in urination habits, the FDA advises.
A California lawsuit has been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate and centralize the federal DePuy Pinnacle hip litigation in one court for coordinated pretrial proceedings, either as part of the pending DePuy ASR recall litigation or as a new multidistrict litigation (MDL). The DePuy ASR hip recall litigation is already consolidated as part of an MDL, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
The lawsuit argues that they are all related on common issues of fact, and such consolidation helps reduce duplicative discovery in different cases, eliminates inconsistent rulings from different judges and serves the convenience of the parties, lawyers and the courts. The plaintiff has requested that the Panel either designate a new court for handling of the litigation over DePuy Pinnacle hips or consolidate the DePuy ASR lawsuits and DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits in the same coordinated action.
The MDL Panel is expected to hear oral arguments on the motion at the next scheduled hearing, which will be held on May 16, 2011, at the Gene Synder United States Courthouse in Louisville, Kentucky.
While approximately 93,000 DePuy ASR hip systems were sold before it was removed from the market, more than 150,000 DePuy Pinnacle hips were manufactured according to the ;awsuit. In addition, since the August 2010 ASR recall, more than 1,300 people have filed an adverse event report with the FDA involving problems with a DePuy Pinnacle hip.
Information and commentary provided by Dallas Fort Worth Personal Injury Attorney Dr Shezad Malik. The Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm can be contacted in Dallas toll free at 888-210-9693 or in Fort Worth at 817-717-1772. If you or a loved one has been injured from a Defective DePuy ASR or DePuy Pinnacle Replacement Hip, please fill out our contact card for a free consultation.