Dallas, DePuy, DePuy Orthopaedics, Herlihy-Paoli, Jessica Dye, Johnson, Johnson & Johnson, Pinnacle, Reuters, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, W. Mark Lanier
UPDATE 2-Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy wins first trial over Pinnacle hips | Reuters.
Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy wins first trial over Pinnacle hips
Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:09pm EDT
By Jessica Dye and Lisa Maria Garza
Oct 23 (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson was found not liable by a Texas jury on Thursday in the first case to go to trial over whether Pinnacle hip implants made by the company’s DePuy Orthopaedics unit were defective.
The test case had high stakes for the pharmaceutical giant, which is hoping to avoid a replay of a $2.5 billion settlement it agreed to last year for a different metal-on-metal hip device.
The Dallas federal jury ruled unanimously against the plaintiff Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, who said the two metal-on-metal Pinnacle hips she received in 2009 were faulty and that the company failed to warn patients and doctors about the device’s risks.
DePuy had said the implants were improperly positioned, and not to blame for her injuries. Jurors needed about two days to deliberate, after a seven-week trial.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers selected Herlihy-Paoli’s lawsuit to be among the first to go to trial out of more than 6,600 lawsuits over the Pinnacle hips. The unanimous win for DePuy is expected to affect its approach to the rest of the lawsuits, which are consolidated before U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade.
DePuy spokeswoman Mindy Tinsley said the company was pleased with the verdict and was committed to the “long-term and vigorous defense” of the litigation.
The metal-on-metal device “was appropriately developed, thoroughly tested and responsibly marketed,” she said in a statement.
A lawyer for Herlihy-Paoli, Mark Lanier, called the case “the first skirmish in what is likely to be a long war.”
“We still plan to press on with fierce dedication to clients we believe have been tragically wronged,” he said.
Herlihy-Paoli said she required multiple surgeries to fix and replace her implants after the surrounding tissue became infected and the level of the metal cobalt in her blood soared to 85 times the normal level.
Her 2012 lawsuit said the device’s metal components rubbed together, shedding metal ions.
At trial, lawyers for Herlihy-Paoli accused DePuy of aggressively marketing the devices to more active people, while concealing abnormally high failure rates.
DePuy’s lawyers countered that the devices were safe when used and implanted properly. They also said Herlihy-Paoli unfairly targeted DePuy for problems linked to different metal-on-metal hips, such as the company’s ASR devices.
Last year, DePuy agreed to pay $2.5 billion to settle more than 7,000 lawsuits over the ASR devices, which it recalled in 2010.
DePuy stopped selling the metal-on-metal Pinnacle devices in 2013.
Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor, called the verdict surprising and said jurors may have responded to DePuy’s argument that the hips may have been improperly positioned.
“They can take some comfort in this verdict,” he said, referring to DePuy. “But I’m sure there will be more.”
The case is Herlihy-Paoli v. Pinnacle, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, No. 12-4975. (Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York and Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas; Editing by Chris Reese, Bernard Orr and David Ingram)
Don’t be discouraged my fellow MOM patients. This is just the first of THOUSANDS of patients, like you and I, who have suffered with these stinking hips. My attorney had a
MoM hip, and so did my surgeon! The word is getting around, and they can deny all they want that the product was “studied”…… the truth will out.
Katherine McWhirter said:
Are we to turn around and sue our surgeons for making a mm of an error, hard to prove now however. Will the surgeons sue DePuy for defamation, it is all a can of worms, maybe I should have accepted their $33,000 would have paid for a few taxis which I am now needing to get around. It just helps to raise my blood pressure even more. What an evil lot of people we are dealing with. No thought for the terrible trauma some of you have gone through at all. How some are left reliant on wheel chairs, had to give up their jobs, family life ruined. Do they are at J and J or DePuy, not,likely. I am relatively good to some of the people totally disabled, but I live a life of frustration, so many things I can’t do, a husband who gets impatient with me and I am not too bad. Just can’t walk far, find it difficult to get shoes, socks, stockings and trousers in. Cannot bend very well, difficulty getting up stairs, in and out of transport, these are my minor frustrations imagine those worse affected.
Why has it taken so long to get some sort of satisfaction in Australia, is it that good old Australian saying “.it’s just the Australian way”. I am now 77, and feel I will be long gone before anyone gets satisfaction from the outcome.
Another point is this. Anyone now suffering any problems due to chromium and cobalt excess will they now have to sue their Doctor for not properly implanting the prosthesis. What about all the X-rays we have had earlier on when each one was reported, in a good position, no abnormality detected”. Are the radiographers wrong I their reporting, where does the buck stop.
Guess this is the rantings of an old lady, but there is nowhere else to go, no one to listen to me, no one that cares. They don’t care about the patients severely affected, so why would they care about me.
Written in frustration with the whole legal system, the dishonesty and lies of people.
Kris Hadley said:
Amen, so sorry to hear your personal struggles. So much injustice but as you said so eloquently it’s just a corporate game of tag! J & J not to to blame, so the Dr.’s? Radiologist? I’m a Smith & Nephew mom surviver. Our FDA in the US approved the S & N BHR system through a pre approval process so our prosthetic never went through years of testing before saturating the market. We can’t even sue because the FDA would have to admit their wrong in it all. It’s a mess for sure, but I try to be grateful everyday because there are so many others truly maimed!
My wife’s DePuy lasted 2 years. December of 2011 she had revision surgery. Just prior to Labor day 2014 her pain skyrocketed! She had another revision surgery October 8, 2014. In between (Labor day & Oct 8) her hip dislocated 4 times. Each time requiring surgery to have it put back in place. So since Sept 14 and Oct 8 2014 she has had 5 surgeries. The doctor says that there can be no more surgeries other than to totally remove the hip. The muscle has been destroyed by the metalosis. There is very little muscle left to support the implant. After the surgery she has had several falls and now has a pelvis that is broken in several places. January 2,2015 she will have a followup visit to see how the pelvis is healing. It might be life in a wheel chair or a life of continued struggle of being unable to navigate whether on foot or trying to use stairs or trying to get in a vehicle. This is all because we trusted Johnson & Johnson and a well known surgeon in Pittsburgh. There is no dollar amount that will bring back our quality of life or pay for the years of suffering, medical bills, etc.
That is worse than tragic. So sorry to hear. I hope you can get some justice thru the legal system – but no amount of money can ever give you wife her health back. Hopefully the surgeon will be able to work some miracle?
Absolute nightmare. I have a large tumor and cobalt poisoning from my pinnical hip that was supposed to last twenty years not seven. So scared now facing revision surgery November 10!
jean sansoni said:
This is a nightmare! I have a large tumor and cobalt poisoning thanks to this implant. I will be having revision surgery November 10TH on a 7 year old metal hip that was supposed to last 20-25 years! Feeling scared is an understatement!
sorry to hear that you are facing the knife for the 10th time. J&J have a lot to answer for but would rather pay expensive lawyers than patients.
Steven Druzynski said:
I’ve been waiting yrs for something to move on my Pinnacle but can NOT get ANY answers or info from my attorneys in SoCal but also have a office here in Phoenix. ….why are they not answering or letting me know ANYTHING and what can I do about it….
answer is most likely that the system is full of these lawsuits at present. The first on has been to trial and J&J convinced the jury it was a “placement” issue. But there are many to go and a class action lurking too.