Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy wins first trial over Pinnacle hips
(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson was found not liable by a Texas jury on Thursday in the first case to go to trial over whether Pinnacle hip implants made by the company’s DePuy Orthopedics unit were defective.
The Dallas federal jury ruled unanimously against the plaintiff Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli, who said the two metal-on-metal Pinnacle hips she received were faulty.
DePuy had said the implants were improperly positioned, and not to blame for her injuries. Jurors needed about two days to deliberate, following a seven-week trial.
The case is the first among more than 6,600 federal lawsuits over the Pinnacle hips to go to trial. The unanimous win for DePuy is expected to affect its approach to the rest of the lawsuits, which have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade.
A spokeswoman for DePuy, Mindy Tinsley, said the company was pleased with the verdict and intended to continue defending the hip at future trials.
The metal-on-metal device “was appropriately developed, thoroughly tested and responsibly marketed,” she said in a statement.
Herlihy-Paoli said she had been implanted with two Pinnacle metal-on-metal hips in 2009, but later required multiple surgeries to fix and replace them after the surrounding tissue became infected and the level of the metal cobalt in her blood soared to 85 times the normal level.
Her 2012 lawsuit said the device’s metal components rubbed together, shedding metal ions into her body.
(Reporting by Jessica Dye in New York and Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas; Editing by Chris Reese, Bernard Orr)
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