Recently, a panel of federal judges decided to consolidate all DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits to a multi-district litigation and transferred it to the federal court in Texas. Pinnacle is a metal-on-metal hip implant that is currently the subject of many lawsuits. Evidence suggests that these implants can shed small metal particles, causing symptoms such as tissue breakdown, bone loss, and the formation of non-cancerous tumors. The shedding of metal shavings can also cause cobalt and chromium poisoning, a disorder that, if left untreated, can put patients at risk of tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo, deafness, blindness, optic nerve atrophy, convulsions, headaches, peripheral neuropathy, cardiomyopathy, hypothyroidism, renal failure, and cancer. Some patients with metal-on-metal hip implants may develop an inflammatory reaction known as metallosis.
The Pinnacle hip implant was available before DePuy's more infamous ASR hip implant, and unfortunately is subject to as much failure. According to one DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuit, filed in early December in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the plaintiff underwent six surgeries due to metal poisoning sustained as a result of a Pinnacle hip implant he received in 2007. A second suit filed in November in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleges that another Pinnacle recipient suffered abnormal gait, nerve pain, and other problems since receiving the device in 2004. That plaintiff is soon to undergo revision surgery. Most recently, a Tennessee man filed suit over a DePuy Pinnacle hip implant he received in May 2009. According to that lawsuit, the plaintiff was forced to undergo revision surgery less than one year later, after the acetabular component of the left hip loosened due to friction and natural biologic corrosion. A date has not yet been set for the Pinnacle MDL trial to begin.
If you have been injured as a result of a DePuy Pinnacle hip implant, contact the attorneys at Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin LLP to speak with an experienced medical device attorney.