A March 2016 decision by a federal jury in Texas was the first loss for Johnson & Johnson over claims that its Pinnacle hip implant is defective and causes recipients to suffer pain and permanent bone damage. The jury awarded a group of five plaintiffs a total of $142 million in actual damages and $360 million in punitive damages, stating that the company knew its device posed risks and failed to inform patients. This award may help to bring about settlements for many more people who are suffering after receiving these hip implants.
Problems Caused by the Faulty Implant
Recipients of the Pinnacle hip implant have suffered a variety of medical conditions, all linked to the metal-on-metal design of the device. Rather than eliminating problems inherent in non-metal designs as the manufacturer claimed, the implant caused additional problems leading to a failure of the implant and the necessity for a revision surgery to remove it. Conditions caused by the defective device include:
- Inflammation of surrounding tissue. In the least severe cases, patients can suffer from inflammation of the tissue surrounding the hip implant, resulting in limited mobility, chronic pain, and, in some cases, failure of the implant and the need for revision surgery.
- Bone erosion. Also known as osteolysis, this loss of bone around the hip replacement is the body’s attempt to clean up particle debris produced by the implant. This is the most common long-term hip replacement complication and is the cause of nearly three quarters of all hip replacement failures.
- Metallosis. Normally a rare condition, metallosis is caused by the build-up of metallic debris in the soft tissue of the body and can lead to metal poisoning in some patients. The Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant has been found to leach cobalt and chromium into the bloodstreams of some recipients, leading to metallosis. Victims suffer severe joint pain, local tissue necrosis, formation of cysts and pseudo-tumors, and implant failure.
If you are suffering from painful symptoms after you should have recovered from your hip replacement surgery, the first thing you should do is see your doctor to determine what is going wrong.
Then, Call the Holton Law Firm
If your doctor determines that your Pinnacle hip implant is failing and causing you pain and inflammation, bone erosion, or metallosis, call the experienced medical device attorneys at the Holton Law Firm to find out what we can do for you.