Depuy Pinnacle Hip Litigation – Update

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published on May 29, 2018

Defective Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Five plaintiffs were awarded a total of $502 million dollars in the 2nd test (bellwether) case to go to trial against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) relating to its Depuy Pinnacle hip implants, in January of 2016,  J&J appealed the verdict, which the trial judge reduced to $151 million dollars.  The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument on December 7, 2017, and issued their opinion  in April 2018. The Fifth Circuit overturned the entire verdict and remanded the case back to the Northern District of Texas and Judge Ed Kinkeade for a new trial.

While this ruling may be worrying to people who have been waiting for a long time with pending Pinnacle Hip claims, we believe the ruling confirmed  that the Plaintiffs prevailed on the merits and on nearly every underlying substantive legal issue set forth in J&J’s appeal.  The 5th Circuit focused on rulings specific to those cases on trial and held that Judge Kinkeade erred in allowing Plaintiffs’ lawyers to present certain inflammatory character evidence against J&J.  The 5th Circuit ruled that allowing that inflammatory evidence before the jury tainted the verdict, requiring a new trial for each of the five plaintiffs.

Despite the disappointing remand for a new trial, the Fifth Circuit’s decision contains excellent rulings in many key areas. Additionally, the character evidence the 5th Circuit ruled should not have been presented to the jury has not been allowed into evidence in any of the subsequent bellwether trials, and each of those resulted in large jury verdicts.  While we disagree with the 5th Circuit’s ruling, we agree with the decision of Plaintiffs’ counsel in this matter not to appeal the ruling and to move forward with a new trial as soon as possible.

The 5th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral argument next month relating to the September 2016 California bellwether trial which resulted in a $1 billion dollar verdict.   In the meantime, if you have a failed metal-on-metal hip implant made by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics, Biomet, Stryker Orthopaedics, Wright Conserve, or Zimmer Holdings, you may be eligible to file a claim for damages. You may be compensated for medical expenses from replacement, money damages for the pain, suffering, physical injuries,and any other losses, such as lost income,  that you suffered as a result of your injuries.  Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a specialist in Massachusetts drug and medical device litigation. The consultation is completely confidential. Seek legal advice immediately. Courts apply strict time limits to all personal injury cases.

Stryker Issues New Hip Implant Recall

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Stryker LFIT V39 Femoral Head Recall

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Stryker Corporation has notified physicians and hospitals of an Urgent Medical Device Recall of its LFIT Anatomic Cobalt Chrome V39 femoral heads manufactured before 2011. Stryker received what it called a “higher than expected” number of reports from doctors of taper lock failure.

What is taper lock failure? The taper is the very narrow end of the femoral stem where it connects to the ball of the hip implant. When the taper lock – the connection between the stem and the ball – fails, the hip can become unstable and a number of complications can result. Because the Stryker LFit V39 femoral heads are made of a cobalt chromium alloy, the metal can corrode, releasing cobalt and chromium fragments into the tissue. The corrosion can also result in fractures and loosening of the implant.

Potential Taper Lock Failures Associated with Stryker LFIT V39 Femoral Heads

  • Disassociation of the femoral head from the hip stem. Literally, the hip implant comes apart.
  • Fractured hip stem trunnion
  • Excessive metallic debris
  • Metallosis
  • Insufficient ROM (range of motion)
  • Insufficient soft tissue tension
  • Noise (clicking, grinding, popping, clunking)
  • Loss of implant to bone fixation strength
  • Excessive wear debris
  • Implant construct with a shortened neck length

Patient Complications From Defective Stryker LFIT V39 Femoral Heads

If you have a defective Stryker LFit V39 femoral head as part of your hip implant, you may have experienced the following complications:

  • Adverse local tissue reaction
  • Broken bones around components
  • Dislocation
  • Inflammation
  • Joint instability
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Loss of mobility
  • Pain
  • Revision surgery necessary

Was Your Stryker Hip Implant Recalled?

Physicians began notifying patients of this recall in September 2016. If you don’t know the implant number, call your doctor’s office. They will have it.

Here are the specific models subject to the recall:
Catalog Number          Head          Diameter Offset
6260-9-236                  36mm                  +5
6260-9-239                 39mm                  +4
6260-9-244                 44mm                  +4
6260-9-339                 39mm                  +8
6260·9-439                 39mm                 +12
6260-9-344                 44mm                  +8
6260-9-444                 44mm                 +12

If you have received notification of this recall, you should consult with an attorney to make sure that your legal rights are properly protected.

What If You Have a Different Stryker Hip Implant?

This is not the first Stryker corporation hip implant component recall. Stryker previously recalled the ABG II and Rejuvenant hip replacements in July of 2012. Those were also metal-on-metal hip implants.

Do I Have a Case?

If you have a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, whether from Stryker Orthopaedics, or those manufactured by Biomet, Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics, Wright Conserve, or Zimmer Holdings, you may be eligible to file a claim for money damages. You may be compensated for lost income, medical expenses for revision and replacement surgery, damages for pain and suffering, physical injuries, and any other losses you suffered as a result of your defective hip implant.  Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 for a consultation with a specialist in hip implant litigation. The consultation is free and confidential. We look forward to discussing your potential legal case with you.

$11 Million Verdict in First Wright Conserve Hip Implant Trial

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If you have suffered injury caused by a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, call 888-341-1405 for a 
no-obligation evaluation of your legal rights, or tell us your story using our online contact form.

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

A federal jury in Georgia awarded $11 million to plaintiff Robyn Christiansen in the first Wright Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant bellwether trial. After a two-week trial and three days of deliberations, the jury ruled that the Conserve hip implant was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that manufacturer Wright Medical had mislead the plaintiff as to the product’s safety. The jury found Wright Medical 100% at fault and awarded Christiansen $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.

Ms. Christiansen was implanted with a Conserve metal-on-metal hip in April 2006. The hip implant failed in 2012 and she was forced to undergo painful removal and replacement surgery. Evidence presented at the trial showed her surgeon found metallosis, fluid buildup and tissue necrosis.

In June, a plaintiff in California state court was awarded $4.5 million for damages caused by a different Wright Medical metal-on-metal hip implant, the Profemur R. The majority of cases brought to date involve Wright’s Conserve line of metal hip implants.

Wright Medical placed its Conserve, Dynasty, and Profemur hip components on the market by utilizing the FDA’s 501(k) clearance process. Under 501(k) Wright represented to the FDA that the devices were “substantially equivalent” to products already on the market. By using this approval process Wright avoided the time and expense of conducting clinical trials on their new metal on metal hips. The consequences have been severe for patients who received Conserve, Dynasty, and Profemur implants.

Symptoms of a defective metal hip implant include pain or swelling at or near the hip, a change in walking ability, thigh pain radiating to the knee, pain in the groin when going from a sitting to a standing position, or a noise from the hip joint. The FDA lists a variety of symptoms that should be followed up. If you experience any symptom you believe is related to your hip implant, you should see your doctor immediately. You should ask if your doctor if you should have a blood test for the presence of metal ions and fragments in the tissue surrounding the hip joint.

If you received a Wright Conserve, Dynasty, or Profemur metal-on-metal hip implant (or a metal-on-metal hip implant manufactured by any other company including DePuy Orthopaedics, Stryker Orthopaedics, Zimmer Holdings, or Biomet) you may be eligible to file a claim for money damages for the pain, suffering, physical injuries, lost income, medical expenses from replacement, and any other losses you suffered as a result of your injuries.  Contact the Boston law firm of Thornton Law Firm LLP online or at 1-888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in Massachusetts drug and medical device litigation. The consultation is free and completely confidential. We offer a fair and accurate assessment of your case. Like all legal cases, hip implant claims have short, strictly enforced time limits. Do not delay seeking legal advice.

$9.2 Million Hip Implant Verdict Against Zimmer

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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

 

UPDATE: The trial judge later granted a remittitur to Zimmer, ruling that the jury verdict was excessive. The plaintiff declined the trial judge’s remittitur award of $828,153 and elected to appeal. In 2018 a California appeals court panel, while upholding the jury’s liability verdict against Zimmer, granted a new trial on appeal, ruling that the jury’s damages award excessive.

Published on July 28, 2015

A California state court jury has awarded $9.2 million dollars to a man who received Zimmer’s Durom Cup metal-on-metal hip implant in 2007 and was forced to have it surgically removed 15 months later. Gary Kline, age 59, presented evidence that his doctors performed two traumatic surgeries in 15 months in an attempt to repair the scar tissue and nerve damage caused by the Durom Cup implant, but ultimately it had to be removed. Thornton Law Firm is accepting Zimmer hip implant cases nationwide. If you had a defective metal-on-metal hip implant call the Thornton Law Firm hip implant team at 888-341-1405 or tell us your story using our online contact form.

Zimmer’s Durom Cup, also known as Durom Acetabular Component, was marketed to younger hip implant recipients with claims that the metal cup would last longer than older ceramic hip implants. The Durom Cup is a monoblock cup made from a single piece of cobalt chromium alloy metal. Once implanted, it was supposed to become fixed to the hip joint by the bone growing onto the back of the cup. When bone growth does not occur, the cup rubs against the bone, causing both excruciating pain and the very scar tissue and nerve damage that Mr. Kline endured. Unfortunately, like other metal-on-metal implants, the Durom Cup can generate high levels of metal in the body, leading to metallosis, tissue damage, and damage to the bone.

Zimmer’s Durom Cup was approved by the FDA for use in total hip implants in 2006. But problems surfaced soon thereafter, and Zimmer actually withdrew the hip implant from the market in 2008. The July 2008 recall was brief as Zimmer said it was recalling the devices “because the instructions for use/surgical technique instructions were inadequate.” The FDA also initiated a Class 2 recall of 19,014 products in September of that year; that recall was terminated in October of 2009. Zimmer resumed selling the Durom Cup hip implant after updating the product label and instituting a training program for surgeons.

Zimmer Durom Cups and all other metal-on-metal hip implants can cause a host of complications including allergic reactions, pain, scarring, metallosis, infections, revision surgery, or even death. If you or a loved one suffered any complications after receiving a metal hip implant, call the medical device team at Thornton Law Firm which specializes in helping patients nationwide who have been injured by defective medical devices. For a free, confidential evaluation of your legal rights, contact us at 888-341-1405 or tell us your story here. All legal claims have short, strictly enforced time limits for filing a claim; do not delay seeking legal advice.

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