by Nancy Crotti
Jury selection was set to begin today in the first of about 6,000 claims against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy subsidiary over its Pinnacle artificial hip.
Plaintiff Kathy Herlihy-Paoli alleges in her complaint that she suffered metallosis—a result of cobalt poisoning—due to large amounts of metal debris left in her body by the cobalt and chromium artificial hips. The Montana woman had cobalt levels 85 times higher than normal, the suit alleges. She claims to have had the hips removed due to infections.
Paoli further alleges the Pinnacle implants are “inherently dangerous products” and that J&J (New Brunswick, NJ) andDePuy (Warsaw, IN) failed to warn anyone about them. Johnson & Johnson denied the allegations.
The Pinnacle artificial hip is not covered under the company’s earlier $2.5 billion settlement of about 8,000 claims overDePuy’s ASR artificial hips. DePuy recalled the ASR metal-on-metal hips in 2010.