There are almost 1,600 lawsuits pending in United States courts against the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip system. Doctors estimate that more than 10 percent of patients using these metal hips will experience failure and require an additional surgery within two to three years.
The supposed advantage of this product was its sustainable durability compared to other weaker materials such as ceramic, as they are meant to last up to 15 years. But as the controversy over this product begins to heat up, more and more surgeons are refusing to use them on their patients.
A number of people experienced swelling and pain, limited mobility, and dislocation; the same problems experienced by the individuals who used the DePuy ASR product. Perhaps most concerning, some doctors say, is Metallosis—high levels of cobalt and chromium in the bloodstream resulting from wear of the all-metal implants. This can lead to cardiovascular, neurological, renal and thyroid problems, in addition to destroying soft tissue, muscle and bone.
Government data states that at least 500,000 people have received metal-on-metal hips, and of those patients, 150,000 received the Pinnacle device, and 37,000 received the ASR device. Johnson & Johnson, the owner of both companies, has set aside $3 billion to settle the 3,000 ASR lawsuits.
J&J will not recognize patients’ complaints or pay for revision surgeries, and have hired expert product liability attorneys to defend them on the matter. They continue to support the notion that the device performs better than any other artificial hips.
There has not been an exact number on the failure rate for metal hips, but the British Orthopaedic Association and the British Hip Society stated that almost half of all metal-on-metal hip replacements will fail after six year. When DePuy first recalled their product, they believed the number to be four times less than what is to come.
To products liability attorneys at Arias, Ozzello & Gignac are currently investigating claims against Johnson & Johnson and other all-metal hip manufacturers for increased failure rates. If you or someone you know has experienced complications from your metal-on-metal hip replacement, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages.