As legal experts and injured consumers wait for news on who will lead the DePuy Pinnacle multidistrict litigation (MDL), questions remain about how the two mass tort cases over defective replacement hips made by Johnson & Johnson differ.
DePuy Facing Two Separate Hip Replacement MDLs
Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics is currently dealing with two separate MDLs over hip replacement products it manufactures. One involves the ASR hip system, which was recalled in August 2010. There are currently around 2,000 lawsuits consolidated in the ASR MDL, which is being overseen by Judge David Katz of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
The second mass tort faced by DePuy stems from problems with the company’s Pinnacle hip system. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation approved the Pinnacle MDL in May 2011, and it currently contains approximately 300 lawsuits. Consolidated pretrial proceedings over the DePuy Pinnacle are being overseen by Judge James E. Kinkeade of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Differences Between the ASR and Pinnacle MDL
Although both DePuy hip MDLs share a common theme—that the ASR and Pinnacle have metal-on-metal designs that can shed metal fragments into a recipient’s body and cause metal toxicity—several key differences suggest that the two mass torts will play out differently.
Perhaps most important is the fact that there has been no DePuy Pinnacle recall. The ASR, by contrast, was pulled from the market more than a year ago, and DePuy has set up a program for reimbursing recipients of the problematic device who require medical treatment. Many in the legal community believe that these actions indicate DePuy will settle the ASR lawsuits it faces.
When it comes to the Pinnacle litigation, however, DePuy appears to be preparing to vigorously defend charges that it defectively designed and failed to warn about problems with the Pinnacle system. Not only does this hip replacement remain on the market, but not all models use a metal-on-metal design. Around 34,000 Pinnacles have been sold in the United States, but some of them have polyethylene and ceramic liners that prevent metal on metal contact between the hip components. Furthermore, DePuy has hired defense lawyers known, according to one attorney hoping to lead a plaintiff steering committee, to “fight to the death.”
File a DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit With Help From RLG
DePuy may indeed be preparing to fight Pinnacle lawsuits, but the lawyers of the Rottenstein Law Group are no less determined to ensure that you are justly compensated for any injuries the hip replacement system may have caused you. To learn more about a DePuy Pinnacle lawsuit, contact RLG by filling out this form or calling 1-800-624-9568.