Few if any things are more painful than degenerative hips. Bone grinding on bone is an excruciating sensation, and it’s almost totally debilitating. People who struggle with this ordeal face a lower quality of life than those who do not. For centuries, those who had serious hip problems were forced to live in constant pain and extremely limited mobility if not without it entirely. The modern world of medical science has provided patients with another option: the artificial hip replacement. In recent years, the popularity of artificial hip replacement surgery has exploded. Current estimates indicate that more than 2.5 million people in the United States alone are currently living with an artificial hip joint. When these artificial hips perform properly, the patient’s life improves. When they do not, the results are often disastrous. Sadly, many have alleged just that with regards to Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants. Below is an overview of this issue.
DePuy Orthopaedics manufactures a product known as the Pinnacle Ultamet. Johnson & Johnson owns DePuy. The Pinnacle hip implants serve as an artificial hip joint for patients who want increased comfort and mobility. The product was initially approved for use in the United States by the FDA in 2000. It was approved without clinical trials by way of what is known as a 510(k), meaning that the device was seen as “substantially similar” to a product that was already approved. The device to which the Pinnacle was substantially similar was the DePuy ASR hip implant. The ASR product was removed from the market in 2010 due to a massive number of lawsuits filed against the manufacturer.
The Pinnacle works by replacing the hip joint with what is known as a “cup” system that mimics the functions of a natural hip. The Pinnacle hip implants were initially marketed as products that would last longer than competitors and therefore provide longer periods of comfortable movement for patients. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before allegations of serious Pinnacle Ultamet side effects began to surface publicly.
In recent years, consumers began to experience significant problems with their DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. After they were implanted inside of these patients, many of them began to experience some or all of the following side effects:
Other patients experienced different types of alleged DePuy Pinnacle side effects, including:
These alleged DePuy Pinnacle side effects are allegedly tied to the fact that the product is a metal-on-metal joint. Metallosis refers to a condition whereby a toxic amount of metal is released into a patient’s bloodstream. DePuy metallosis is a dangerous health problem if it is not diagnosed and treated properly. Common symptoms of metallosis can include:
If you have had a DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system implanted and you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, seek an immediate medical evaluation.
Eventually, consumers began filling DePuy Pinnacle hip implants lawsuits against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. For the most part, these lawsuits included the following allegations:
To date, approximately 8,400 Pinnacle hip implants lawsuits have been filed against DePuy and Johnson & Johnson. Most experts agree that more of these lawsuits will be filed in the future given the prevalence of this product on the marketplace. The metal liner of the Pinnacle product was pulled from the market in 2013. To date, however, no Pinnacle hip implants recall has been initiated.
There were so many Pinnacle hip implants lawsuits filed around the country that ultimately, a Pinnacle MDL was formed. MDL stands for multidistrict litigation. MDLs are generally formed when products such as allegedly defective drugs, allegedly defective medical devices and other problems arise that affect consumers. As opposed to having all of these individual lawsuits filed in several different federal districts, the claims are consolidated into a large action. This is done for several reasons:
Overall, the interests of justice are served with an MDL in certain situations. That appears to be the case with the Pinnacle MDL.
As of now, the Pinnacle hip implants MDL has progressed to the point where the first bellwether trials have reached their conclusions. Bellwether trials are basically ‘test’ trials where a few of the individual plaintiffs have their cases heard in front of the judge that is overseeing the entire MDL. These bellwether trials provide an indication to both the plaintiffs and the defense as to how certain evidentiary arguments will be decided and how the jury will react to the cases. At this point, the bellwether cases have led to massive jury verdicts for the plaintiffs, totaling over $1.5 Billion.
If you have had this product implanted inside your body and you’re experiencing any difficulties, you need to act soon to make sure that you properly protect your legal rights. It is not too late to become a part of the ongoing Pinnacle hip replacement system litigation. You should start by contacting Pinnacle hip implants lawyers who have been standing up to enormous corporations on behalf of injured consumers for more than a decade. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation.
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