Expert Testimony Continues at Bellwether DePuy Pinnacle Hip Trial

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Public Health Watchdog Breaking News
Public Health Watchdog Breaking News

Expert witnesses continue their testimony in a bellwether trial in Dallas, Texas considering injury claims of people implanted with DePuy Orthopaedics’ Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement device.

Five suits from among the Pinnacle hip injury cases consolidated in the Northern District of Texas have been brought together in a bellwether trial. The claims in these five cases are representative of other injury claims in the Pinnacle hip litigation. The outcome of the trial could play an important role in whether DePuy establishes a settlement program for Pinnacle injury claims. In 2013, DePuy began settling injury claims related to the similar ASR metal-on-metal hip implant, which DePuy recalled in 2011.

The five plaintiffs in this trial allege that their DePuy Pinnacle hip implants caused serious injuries, including difficulty walking; loosening of the implant; severe pain that radiates to the groin and/or back; tissue death or soft tissue damage; elevated levels of cobalt and chromium ions; bone loss or damage. Many people implanted with Pinnacle hips have needed revision surgery to correct or replace the defective implant.

Metal-on-metal hip implants have exhibited higher failure rates and higher rates of revision surgery—surgery to correct or remove and replace the device—than hip replacement devices made of other materials. Health authorities worldwide have recalled these devices.

Dr. Matthew Morrey, an assistant professor of medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, Texas is the latest expert witness. Dr. Morrey’s orthopedic surgery residency at the Mayo Clinic had an emphasis on primary and revision adult reconstruction. Dr. Morrey is a hip implant revision specialist. His father, Dr. Bernard Morrey, a professor at the Mayo Clinic, testified last week about the performance of different types of hip implants. Bernard Morrey has performed hip implants for former president George H.W Bush, and golfers Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, and he told the jury he does not use metal-on-metal hip devices for his patients.