Four out-of-state plaintiffs in California DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement lawsuits have dropped any opposition to DePuy’s fraudulent joinder assertions, which were the basis for removing the actions to federal court.

All four cases were on a November 14th conditional transfer list, reassigned to the DePuy Pinnacle MDL, which is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. About 3,000 DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits have been filed in federal courts.

In each of the four moved cases, plaintiffs filed claims against California-based surgeon and Pinnacle implant co-designer, Dr. Thomas P. Schmalzried, as well as device manufacturer DePuy Orthopaedics and Johnson & Johnson, its parent company. Allegations against Dr. Schmalzried include strict liability, negligence, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act and loss of consortium.

Plaintiffs filed the suits in Los Angeles Superior Court, after suffering from defective DePuy Pinnacle hip implants. The metal-on-metal Pinnacle hip replacements have been linked to problems such as causing inflammation, pain, and metallosis. Metallosis, caused by the toxic metal ions shed into patients’ bloodstream, may lead to advanced hip replacement failure and force patients to undergo revision surgery to remove the defective device.

In August 2010, DePuy recalled the ASR hip replacement, a similar all-metal hip implant, after data showed that one out of eight of the hip implants failed within a few years after surgery. Doctors and health regulators have been scrutinizing metal-on-metal hip implants in light of their alarming failure rates and side effects. Some agencies have even advised a ban of all metal-on-metal devices.

While the FDA convened a panel to discuss the safety of metal hip implants in June 2012, they have not issued an official statement on the devices. Metal-on-metal devices continue to be available on the market even as increasing numbers of hip replacement lawsuits are filed.

The DePuy Pinnacle hip implant lawsuits seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other injuries.

Published December 11, 2012 by