Expert Witnesses Offer Testimony in Week 6 of DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trial

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Public Health Watchdog Breaking News
Public Health Watchdog Breaking News

Expert witnesses continue to testify in a bellwether trial in the Northern District of Texas over injuries allegedly caused by the DePuy Orthopaedics Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant. The outcome of this trial could affect other pending Pinnacle lawsuits.

During the trial, jurors have heard testimony over whether DePuy’s Pinnacle hip devices are responsible for 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.

The DePuy Pinnacle hip implant, like other metal-on-metal hip implants, has been associated with high rates of failure. Though these devices were introduced to the market with the expectation that they would be more durable that than earlier hip replacements, metal hip recipients began to suffer complications soon after the device was implanted, many have needed revision surgery to remove and replace the device. In 2010, DePuy recalled the similar ASR metal-on-metal hip implants worldwide and in 2013 DePuy established a settlement program to resolve lawsuits filed by ASR recipients.

Dr. Bernard Morrey and Dr. Matt Morrey, a father and son who are both orthopedic surgeons, have testified at the trial. 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 a report to the court. Defense expert, Dr. Brian Haas, has received more than $7.5 million in royalty/consulting payments from the medical device industry. Dr. Scott Nelson, an orthopedic pathologist, and director of Laboratory Medicine at the Santa Monica UCLA and Orthopedic Hospital, has funding ties to DePuy. Dr. Nelson reviewed the pathology slides for all five plaintiffs in the case and his testimony addressed causation of the plaintiffs’ injuries. Pat Campbell, Ph.D., who does implant retrieval analysis of joint arthroplasties, is expected to testify next for the defendants. Campbell regularly collaborates with Dr. Nelson.