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DePuy Pinnacle Implants May Cause Same Problems as Defective ASR Implants

Source: Levin & Perconti

Over the past year our Illinois nursing home lawyers have been working with victims of the DePuy hip implant recall–an issue that has particular importance for residents of local long-term facilities. The problematic metal-on-metal hip implants have disproportionately affected nursing home residents who often need hip replacements to correct problems with their older joints. Since they were recalled last year, over a thousand individual victims have come forward with complications from the implants. The product’s design caused residents’ problems after small metallic particles were discharged into their bodies. The metal entered their bloodstream, leading to a variety of problems. Corrective surgery was often needed to fix the problem.

Those involved in legal actions related to the recall have noted that the company is likely to face as much as $1 billion in liability because of the damage caused by the hip implants. That figure is not surprising, as over 100,000 patients were given the defective device upon needing new hips. The medical costs of treating and correcting damage caused by the product defect can rise to hundreds of thousands for a single patient. Adding mental and emotional damage and the cost of this problem is staggering.

At least 1,000 victims have already come forward and pressed their rights. Thousands more may come forward later as problems with their implants become known. Until now most of those who have filed suit have been those who received the “ASR” implants. The ASR products were the specific products recalled last August.

However, recently some observers have explained that another version of DePuy hip implants may cause similar complications. “Pinnacle” implants are also a metal-on-metal ball and socket version of the product that poses the risk of metallic discharge. When the product wears too quickly then cobalt and chromium can be discharged into patient bloodstreams. Pinnacle implants have not yet been recalled. However, that fact is not necessarily any indication of their safety.

DePuy Pinnacle hip implants suits are not as prevalent as the ASR implant lawsuits. However, some victims are already pursing legal actions against the company for complications caused by the Pinnacle version. The fact that Pinnacle and ASR products are made from the same metal parts utilizing the same ball and socket design—the risk from Pinnacle implants are likely high. All those who have received either implant should be aware of those risks.

Defective products have the opportunity to cause extensive damage to all those who fall victim to their flawed design. Unlike other problematic products, medical devices are particularly dangerous when defectively made, because they are implanted into patient bodies. Our Illinois nursing home attorneys are well-versed in all of the legal issues that arise when nursing home residents are injured by dangerous medical products.

Product liability law provides unique protection to all victims of dangerous products. Especially in the medical device context, patients are completely at the mercy of the choices made by their doctors regarding the products they are told are necessary to improve their health and well-being.

There is no excuse for any manufacturer to make a dangerous product—whether it is a hip implant, children’s crib, other consumer good. All those harmed by defects should seek compensation for their loss under the common law legal system of product liability developed over the last one hundred years. Over the years thousands of products have been made safer because victims have brought suit to protect their rights and demand appropriate safety changes. It is important for today’s victims to continue that trend to ensure our product are safe, secure, and free of unreasonable risk of harm to unsuspecting users.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Number of Injuries From DePuy Hip Replacements Continues to Grow

Illinois Hip Implant Recall Shows Problems with Improper Product Testing