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Expert Witnesses Testify about DePuy Pinnacle Hip Injuries and Complications

Filed February 3rd, 2016 Fran Kelley

Expert testimony continues this week at the bellwether trial for injury claims by people implanted with DePuy Orthopaedics’ Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement devices.

From among the Pinnacle cases consolidated in the federal court in the North District of Texas, five cases were chosen as representative of the injury claims in the Pinnacle hip litigation. These five are being heard in one proceeding. The outcome of the trial could play a key role in whether DePuy establishes a settlement program for Pinnacle injury claims. DePuy established a settlement program in 2013 for claims related to the similar ASR metal-on-metal hip implant, which was recalled in 2011.

The plaintiffs in the bellwether trial allege that their DePuy Pinnacle hip implants caused serious injuries, including difficulty walking; severe pain that radiates to the groin and/or back; loosening of the implant; tissue death; soft tissue damage; bone loss or damage; and elevated levels of cobalt and chromium ions. Many Pinnacle hip recipients have been forced to undergo revision surgery to correct or replace the defective implant.

Metal-on-metal hip implants were introduced to the market with the expectation that they would have a longer useful life than earlier models, making them a good choice for younger implant patients. But metal-on-metal hips have instead exhibited higher failure rates and higher rates of revision surgery than hip replacement devices made of other materials. Health authorities worldwide have recalled these devices.

The latest expert witness is Dr. Matthew Morrey, a hip implant revision specialist and an assistant professor of medicine at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Morrey completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the Mayo Clinic, with an emphasis on primary and revision adult reconstruction. Dr. Morrey’s father, Dr. Bernard Morrey, also an implant surgeon, testified last week. The senior Dr. Morrey has been a professor at the Mayo Clinic for 30 years and has performed hip surgeries on such people as former president George H.W Bush, and golfers Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. Bernard Morrey he does not use metal-on-metal hip devices for his patients.




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