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2014 Pinnacle Trial Updates

Pinnacle Trial Flashback: What Was Happening in 2014?

The Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Pinnacle Trial Began in 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 marked the first bellwether trial regarding the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) DePuy Pinnacle metal on metal hip implant. Until now, the device is not recalled but gained notoriety over several reports of side effects from design flaws and metal poisoning.

The DePuy Pinnacle, similar to its recalled counterpart, DePuy ASR, places patients at significant risk for elevated levels of cobalt and chromium in their blood. Additional problems with the DePuy Pinnacle may include infection secondary to metallosis, pseudotumors, severe hip pain, and other life threatening complications. An internal memo via DePuy highlights concern from Dr. Thomas Schmalzried who foreshadowed the release of metal debris into the bloodstream.

Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, a Montana resident, the first of the bellwether trials, claims the DePuy Pinnacle hips leeched cobalt and chromium into her blood stream precipitating an infection. Consequently, the pain from infection required removal of the devices. Mark Lanier, Herlihy-Paoli’s attorney, suggests J&J knew of the metallosis poisoning from the hips as early as 2001.

* The case is Herlihy-Paoli v. DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., 12- cv-3590, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).