Friday, August 12, 2011

Depuy Pinnacle MDL Meeting.. more inflamatory comments or is there a real claim here?

revisions to this post made on 8/17 to provide more information

Exerpts from About

In May 2011, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all lawsuits over problems with DePuy Pinnacle hip replacements filed in federal district courts throughout the United States will be consolidated for pretrial proceedings before U.S. District Judge James E. Kinkeade.

At the time the DePuy Pinnacle litigation was formed, there were three cases transferred to Judge Kinkeade in the Northern District of Texas. However, according to a Master Case List released by the court on July 20, there are already 213 cases consolidated in the MDL.

All of the suits involve similar allegations that the DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System was defectively designed or manufactured, and that inadequate warnings were provided about the risk of early complications or problems, which have been developing within a few years of the surgery. In many cases, the DePuy Pinnacle hip problems result in the need for additional surgery to replace or revise the hip replacement.

Many of the complaints allege that DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has been aware of the problems with their metal-on-metal hip implants for some time and that a DePuy Pinnacle hip recall should have been issued several years ago.

Attorneys representing DePuy and various plaintiffs were scheduled to meet a few days ago  with Judge Kinkeade on the  to discuss the structure of the pretrial proceedings and the composition of a committee of plaintiffs’ attorneys, who will serve in leadership positions and perform certain actions that benefit all of the lawsuits consolidated in the MDL.

In an unusual move, DePuy filed a brief last week regarding the selection of the plaintiffs’ leadership positions, even though it acknowledged that it has limited standing to comment on the process. The medical device maker indicated that several DePuy Pinnacle lawyers representing plaintiffs in the federal MDL proceedings are continuing to file cases in state courts, naming local defendants such as physicians and sales representatives in hopes of avoiding removal to federal court. DePuy suggested that Judge Kinkeade should not appoint those attorneys to leadership positions, arguing that such conduct impedes the progress of the litigation and undermines the goals of the MDL proceeding.

Comments by connie:
  • I still haven't been able to identify if these cases are confined to just the metal on metal Pinnacles which is what I believe to be the case. That is, Depuy makes a whole hip line in Pinnacle consisting of many devices.  It is likely that the issues are confined to ONE of their lines.
  • category: Replacement / Reconstruction
  • focus: Acetabular Cups/Femoral Heads
  • product family: Pinnacle Hip Solutions

Pinnacle® Acetabular Cup System (48mm-66mm)
Pinnacle Hip Solutions was designed to help provide a more fluid range of natural motion. DePuy Orthopaedics remains the leader in metal-on-metal technology, offering several advantages, including larger diameter bearings that can improve hip range of motion and stability. In fact, one study conducted since the device was approved in 2002 observed that an estimated 99.9 percent* of Pinnacle Hip components remain in use. Only Pinnacle Hip Solutions feature TrueGlide™ technology, allowing the body to create a thin film of lubrication between surfaces. The result is a smooth, more fluid range of natural motion.

 Kindsfater K, Barrett WP, Dowd JE, Southworth CB and Cassell MJ. "99.9% Midterm Survival of the Pinnacle Multi-Liner Acetabular Cup in a Prospective Multi-Center Study." Poster Presentation #P077, AAOS, San Diego, CA. February 14-18, 2007.
  • As I understand the  MDL process, MDL does not preclude Lawyers from filing any case in any venue at any time.  There are many lawyers on the ASR MDL committee who place cases in the MDL process and many who file directly so not sure why this would be a problem in this case.  Since I have spoken with  most of those members, I can tell you I  found only few legal firms who were filing cases only in the MDL process.
  • I have grown wary of these allegations by litigators commenting that "Pinnacle hips should have been recalled years ago."
    • Inflammatory comments.  Why?  I don't know what the data is behind that claim.
      • "Toxic" ?  Well as someone who as spent a lot of time looking at the long term toxic issues with the ASR, I can tell you there is  likely no evidence of toxic anything with respect to  Pinnacle.  Toxic is a strong word.  I can surely believe that patients may have been injured  with something involved with the hips but look at the posts from the last 4 days.  There is no such thing as a hip  which has no problems.  Every hip seems to result in revision rates.  The Question is what is the rate and how far over the average is it?  I have seen no data which suggests that the revisions are high or low.  I can see a step curve up but I don;t know which device the rates relate to and the revision rates do not seem to be  in recall range yet according to the research I have done on the joint registries.   Will publish those in subsequent posts.
      • Not all Pinnacle hip parts are involved in this litigation.  Which pinnacles are a problem?  The acetabular system mentioned above? 

Revision rates @5 years from the 2009 report**
Revision rates @5 years from the 2010 report**
Depuy Corail Pinnacle*
Depuy S-Rom Pinnacle
Depuy Summit Pinnacle
        * Pinnacle refers to the acetabular system
        ** Australian Joint Registry.
      • I really wish one of these litigators would provide some data to support the claims in their numerous and prolific press releases!   As a patient who is considering the Pinnacle in a revision, I would like to see some facts.   Most do not have any data in their press releases to support their claims.   I  wonder why?


    1. I had a dupuy corail stem with an adept ball & socket. Has any body had this combination,and have they also had to have revision.?

    2. I had a mixture of depuy and zimmer parts and I have to use a wheelchair. Apparantley this is now classed as an illegitimate coupling and not allowed but I have read that surgeons had PICK and MIX parts autonomy????
      Very distressed anonymus in UK