A major trial against one of Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiaries, DePuy Orthopedics Inc., is underway in Dallas, Texas. DePuy is facing thousands of allegations that its Pinnacle Hip Implant was defectively designed, not properly tested, and caused metallosis. According to one plaintiff, Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, the cobalt-and-chromium alloy in the device caused an infection that made it necessary for the hip implants to be removed.
According to court testimony, Johnson & Johnson knew as early as 2001 that the metal-on-metal version of these artificial hips might generate debris that could lead to metal poisoning. Internal files from 2012 showed DePuy officials found the metal hips had a 15% failure rate after only five years of use. DePuy officials were expecting a failure rate of 5% over that time period. The company failed to warn patients, doctors, and the Food and Drug Administration. They also did not issue a recall, despite their findings.
Several plaintiffs have alleged that chromium and cobalt debris from the metal-on-metal grinding between the cup and the ball components of the hips caused local muscle and tissue death and increased cobalt and chromium blood levels. According to medical experts the long term side effects may cause bladder and kidney cancer down the road.
Plaintiff Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, who had multiple Pinnacle hips, began to complain of pain from the devices shortly after they were implanted. She received blood tests which showed that the implants had released dangerous levels of cobalt and chromium into her bloodstream. When surgeons removed her left hip implant, they discovered it had turned black with metallosis.
Robert Greening is the principal attorney at Greening Law, P.C. He has dedicated his 24 years of practice to the litigation of wrongful death and serious injury cases. If you have any questions, contact Greening Law, P.C. at 972-934-8900.