Expert witnesses continue to offer testimony in a bellwether trial in the Northern District of Texas trial injuries allegedly caused by the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. The outcome of this case could affect other Pinnacle lawsuits.
Metal-on-metal hip implants like the DePuy Pinnacle device have been associated with high rates of failure. Metal hip recipients have suffered 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. Some implant recipients have needed revision surgery to remove and replace the device.
In 2010, DePuy recalled the similar ASR metal-on-metal hip implants worldwide because of a high failure rate. Since then, other manufactures of metal-on-metal hips have recalled their devices. In 2013, DePuy Orthopaedics established a settlement program to resolve lawsuits brought by ASR recipients.
Dr. Bernard Morrey and Dr. Matt Morrey, father and son orthopedic surgeons, testified for the plaintiffs. Dr. Bernard Morrey has taught at the Mayo Clinic for over 30 years. He told the jury he has never used metal-on-metal hip implants for his patients. Dr. Matt Morrey provided an expert report and he may be required to return to court for further testimony. Defense experts include Dr. Brian Haas, who has reportedly received more than $7.5 million in royalty/consulting payments from the industry. Another defense expert, Dr. Scott Nelson, an orthopedic pathologist, and director of Laboratory Medicine at the Santa Monica UCLA and Orthopedic Hospital, has funding ties to DePuy. The next witness expected to testify for the defendants is Pat Campbell, Ph.D., who does implant retrieval analysis of joint arthroplasties, with particular emphasis on the biological factors that affect the clinical performance of implants.