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DePuy Orthopedics Hit with $247 Million Verdict or Metal-on-Metal Hips


Johnson & Johnson, and its DePuy Orthopaedics division, suffered a loss in federal court in recent weeks after a jury awarded $247 million to six plaintiffs who the jury found were injured as the result of defective Pinnacle Hip implants. This is the third straight verdict against Johnson & Johnson/DePuy. DePuy manufactured and marketed these metal-on-metal hip implants that were eventually recalled in 2010 after patients complained of complications with the devices. Approximately 9000 lawsuits were filed by patients who suffered injuries from the implants. Lawsuits contain accusations of fraud, gross negligence, defective design, failure to warn of safety risks and willfully concealing the risks of the device from the public.

The metal-on-metal hip implants were initially hugely popular as they were marketed as being longer lasting and more durable than previous generations of hip implants. However, after customer complaints and lawsuits, DePuy recalled the devices. Even after the recall, sales of the Pinnacle Hips continued for nearly three years.

The risks to hip replacement patients using metal-on-metal hip systems (such as the Pinnacle Hip implant) include:

  • Metallosis – the build-up of metallic debris in the blood stream and soft tissues
  • Avascular necrosis – death of the bone due to a lack of blood supply
  • Infection
  • Osteolysis – degradation of the bone around the implant
  • Perioprosthetic fractures – bone breaks around the site of the implant
  • Implant loosening
  • Revision Surgery

These conditions can result in complications from the metallic elements in the patient’s systems and extreme joint pain that often will require patients to have surgery to remove or replace the implant.

Individuals in Kentucky who have a Pinnacle (or any metal-on-metal) Hip implant may want to contact an attorney who handles product liability and medical cases. Brett Oppenheimer has experience in pharmaceutical product liability, medical device litigation and medical malpractice cases and can help answer your questions and help determine if you have a case to investigate and/or pursue. Please contact Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC, at to discuss your case today.

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