Defense Verdict in First DePuy Pinnacle™ MDL Bellwether Case
Reuters reports that Johnson & Johnson was found not liable by a jury in the first federal bellwether trial case in Texas over whether Pinnacle™ hip implants manufactured by DePuy were defective.
The first bellwether trial in the DePuy Pinnacle™ Multidistrict Litigation (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2244) began in September and involved plaintiff Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, who alleged that her Pinnacle™ hip implant failed and turned black due to metallosis (metal poisoning). Reuters reported that after two days deliberating, the “Dallas federal jury ruled unanimously against the plaintiff Herlihy-Paoli, who said the two metal-on-metal Pinnacle™ hips she received in 2009 were faulty and that the company failed to warn patients and doctors about the device’s risks.” (Herlihy-Paoli v. Pinnacle, Case No. 12-4975, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas)
According to the most recent report from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), there are currently 6,632 Pinnacle™ Hip Implant cases pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas before The Honorable Judge James Edgar “Ed” Kinkeade. In addition, there are currently additional bellwether trials scheduled in the MDL.
DePuy’s Pinnacle™ Hip Replacement System was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. The Pinnacle metal-on-metal device was approved via Premarket Notification (PMN) clearance (also called the 510(k) process), which means the FDA found the device to be “substantially equivalent” to a predicate device—the Ultima Metal-On-Metal Acetabular Cup—already on the market. In mid-2013, DePuy discontinued the manufacturing and marketing of the metal-on-metal Pinnacle™ devices.
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