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RGRP Files Suit In DePuy Pinnacle Litigation

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

In January we started a federal court suit on behalf of a Virginia woman who was injured through the use of the DePuy Pinnacle Ultamet artificial hip implant. She had such extreme pain and disability from the defective device that she had to have it removed and replaced.

This hip replacement system employs the same dangerous “metal-on-metal” design that is in other hip devices made DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson. Similar to other DePuy hip implants, the Pinnacle Ultamet system involves both a metal cup and a metal ball. The Ultamet system, however, also contains a metal liner between the ball and cup. In ordinary use, these components rub on each other, causing small pieces of metal to shred off. Physicians call the tissue damage which follows “metallosis,” a toxic reaction to cobalt and chromium.

The other “M-O-M” (metal-on-metal) hip assembly from DePuy, which is called the ASR XL Acetabular System, was recalled in 2010. There is yet to be a recall on the Pinnacle Ultamet device, which is unfortunate as the damage being done is the same. Examination of records from the company and the FDA has revealed that DePuy bypassed the usual steps of getting full FDA approval. In fact, as we allege in our lawsuit, the company did not even test the Pinnacle device with a metal liner in it on humans before it was marketed to orthopedists as a safe improvement over the competition’s devices!

Many law suits like ours are now being filed. The cases are all being assigned to one judge nationally to handle their preparation. Our firm currently represents over 100 victims of the use of the ASR system and is looking for more clients both the Pinnacle and the ASR system.

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