On October 3rd, the plaintiffs’ attorney gave opening statements. If you’ve been watching our videos, you know that the third bellwether trial involves six California plaintiffs. California law will apply to these cases which is different than the previous trials.
In opening statements, the plaintiffs’ attorney discussed how the Pinnacle hips were developed. He stated when the decision was made to go with metal-on-metal that there was a history of problems with metal-on-metal hips that DePuy ignored. He also mentioned that DePuy went with metal-on-metal hips so they wouldn’t lose market share.
The plaintiffs’ attorney also spoke about how this product was tested before it was put out on the market. In many cases, hips like the Pinnacle are approved through the 510K process. This process does not require clinical testing. These hips were not tested in humans before they were released.
He also discussed the marketing of the hip. The plaintiffs are taking the position that the hips were falsely marketed to surgeons. There was advertising shown to the jury which stated that the implant had a 99.9% success rate. The plaintiffs assert that this is a false statistic based on fraudulent studies.
The other issue that was mentioned during opening arguments was DePuy’s reaction to complaints about the hip. Specifically, there was discussion about doctors telling DePuy that there were problems with the hip and DePuy’s reaction to those reports. The plaintiffs’ attorney said that DePuy engaged in an effort to downplay those reports. There was a doctor that allegedly told DePuy that there were problems with the Pinnacle hips he implanted, and they were telling him he was the only one that was having a problem.
The opening arguments for the plaintiffs went as expected. We will wait to hear what the defendants have to say.