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Shezad Malik MD JD
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DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacement Injuries

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More than 500 lawsuits have been filed in Northern District of Texas federal court over DePuy Pinnacle hip replacements problems. The plaintiffs have alleged that DePuy hips, caused individuals to experience severe pain and early failure of their artificial hip implant.

In May 2011, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, JPML, ordered that every DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuit filed in any U.S. District Court throughout the country be transferred to the Northern District of Texas as part of a multidistrict litigation, or MDL.

According to court documents released October 6, there are now at least 538 complaints consolidated before U.S. District Judge James E. Kinkeade in the DePuy Pinnacle MDL. As DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement lawyers continue to evaluate, investigate and file new cases in federal court, the number of lawsuits is expected to continue to grow. Many medical experts anticipate that thousands of people who are impacted by the alleged defective medical product, will ultimately file a complaint.

This scenario is currently being played out in the Northern District of Ohio federal court system, where another metal on metal DePuy hip product has been consolidated for litigation purposes. In August 2010, DePuy recalled its flagship artificial metal on metal hip product, the DePuy ASR.

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All of the suits involve similar allegations that the DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System was defectively designed or manufactured, and that inadequate warnings were provided about the risk of early complications or problems, which have been developing within a few years of the surgery. In many cases, the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement complications result in the need for additional surgery to replace or revise the hip replacement.

Many of the complaints allege that DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has been aware of the problems with their metal-on-metal hip implants for some time and that a DePuy Pinnacle hip recall should have been issued several years ago.

As described above, Johnson & Johnson and DePuy also face thousands of lawsuits over the recalled DePuy ASR hip replacement. The DePuy ASR hip was approved as a substantial equivalent design to the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip, and the allegations raised regarding design problems with the two devices are similar.

Over the past year, concerns about all metal-on-metal hip replacements have been growing. Last October, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) issued a warning about potential problems with metal on-metal hip replacements, indicating that patients and the medical community should be aware that pain months after hip replacement surgery may be a sign of metal-on-metal hip cobalt toxicity.

Earlier this year, the FDA launched a new website to provide information about the risks associated with metal-on-metal hip replacements.