Bellwether trial kicks off for DePuy’s Pinnacle hip implant

The 1st bellwether trial gets under way in product liability lawsuits filed over Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy’s Pinnacle line of metal-on-metal hip implants.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy’s marketing push for its Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant ran “amok” as the company ignored warning signs that the devices were defective, a plaintiff’s attorney told a jury yesterday during opening arguments in the 1st of thousands of bellwether lawsuits to go to trial.

Johnson & Johnson told physicians that the Pinnacle devices worked “99.9% of the time” and treated patients like “guinea pigs,” Mark Lanier, the lawyer for Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, said in a Dallas court yesterday, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

“They didn’t tell people they were basically guinea pigs,” Lanier said.

Richard Sarver, J&J’s lawyer, countered that Herlihy-Paoli’s injuries were caused by the position of the hips in her body, not by the allegedly defective design. She alleges that her dual Pinnacle hip replacements, implanted in 2009, were explanted in 2011 due to an infection caused by high levels of chromium and cobalt in her bloodstream, according to court documents.


Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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