Expert witnesses continue to offer testimony at the bellwether trial involving the DePuy Orthopaedics Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. The Texas trial’s outcome could be important to the outcome of many pending Pinnacle lawsuits.
The individuals who have brought suit against DePuy allege that the Pinnacle hip devices caused a variety of painful complications including difficulty standing or walking; loosening of the implant; pain that spreads to the groin and/or back; tissue death; soft tissue damage; and metal poisoning.
High rates of failure and complications are associated with metal-on-metal hips like the DePuy Pinnacle device. Many recipients suffered complications soon after the device was implanted and many have needed surgery to remove and replace the device. In 2010, DePuy recalled the similar ASR metal-on-metal hip implants worldwide and in 2013 the company established a settlement program to resolve lawsuits filed by ASR recipients. International health agencies have recalled metal-on-metal hips or issued advisories for recipients.
Among the experts who have testified are Dr. Bernard Morrey and Dr. Matt Morrey, father and son orthopedic surgeons. Dr. Bernard Morrey, who has taught at the Mayo Clinic for over 30 years, told the jury he has never used metal-on-metal hip implants for his patients. Defense expert, Dr. Edward Boyer, an emergency room doctor and medical toxicologist, was called to address cobalt/chromium toxicity exposure to ions and carcinogenicity. Dr. Boyer’s compensation is reportedly $600 per hour. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Cato Laurencin also testified for the defense. Laurencin is a biomedical engineer and testified as an expert orthopedic history, orthopedic surgery, orthopedic implants and evidence-based medicine.