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J&J Was Warned on Hip Implant Poisoning Risk, Plaintiff’s Lawyer Says

By Jef Feeley and Tom Korosec | September 8, 2014

Johnson & Johnson knew as early as 2001 the metal-on-metal version of its Pinnacle artificial hips might generate debris that could cause metal poisoning, a lawyer said in the first case over the device to go to trial.

A doctor who consulted with J&J’s DePuy unit on the Pinnacle hip made the company aware in February 2001 that the device would require extensive testing of implant patients to see whether they had metal debris in their bloodstreams, Mark Lanier, a lawyer for a Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, a Montana woman suing over her hips, said in his questioning of ex-DePuy President Andrew Ekdahl.

In an internal memo, DePuy officials said Dr. Thomas Schmalzried warned the potential release of metal ions was a “major issue for metal-on-metal hips,” according to Lanier. Ekdahl, now chairman of J&J’s DePuy Synthes unit’s global orthopedics business, denied that officials considered cutting marketing efforts over Schmalzried’s concerns.

Full article here: J&J Was Warned on Hip Implant Poisoning Risk, Plaintiff’s Lawyer Says.