The Pinnacle Jury Is Out
Lawyers in the Dallas, TX based DePuy Pinnacle trial gave their closing arguments on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. The jury has begun deliberating on whether DePuy will have to pay for injuries to 58 year old graphic designer Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli of Montana.
Lawyers for Herlihy-Paoli argued that DePuy failed to inform surgeons and patients of the severe risks associated with the metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip implant. They also allege that the company heavily marketed the device to younger, more active individuals, based on claims that the metal-on-metal design would last for up to 20 years – longer than devices made from plastic or ceramic.
Like many other recipients of the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant, Herlihy-Paoli suffered from metallosis when the metal ions of the device leached into her bloodstream. The levels of chromium and cobalt in her blood were very high, and she developed an infection that required removal of the Pinnacle hip device.
As expected, DePuy lawyers claim that the device was implanted wrong, blaming the surgeon for Herlihy-Paoli’s injuries. This is the same argument that was made when DePuy’s ASR device, another metal-on-metal hip implant, began receiving complaints. DePuy is settling the ASR cases for $2.5 billion.
DePuy lawyers are trying to distinguish the Pinnacle devices from the ASR devices. The ASR was recalled in 2010 after a high failure rate was reported. The Pinnacle, although never recalled, was taken off the market in 2013. However, the devices are composed of the same metal alloy containing chromium and cobalt, and the injuries reported by recipients of the Pinnacle mirror those of ASR recipients.
Regardless of the outcome of this trial, we believe that DePuy will begin settling Pinnacle hip implant claims due to the high failure rate that recipients have experienced. If you or a loved one has recieved the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant, call our office to discuss your options.