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Pennsylvania Couple Sues Over Failed DePuy Pinnacle

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Williamsport, PAThe latest DePuy Pinnacle lawsuit was filed in mid-March by James and Jodi Britton, who allege the March 19, 2009, implantation of a DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant has caused Mr. Britton no end of frustration. According to the March 22 edition of the News-Item of Shamokin, Pennsylvania, the plaintiff fears that he will never walk again without assistance.

The 30-page lawsuit alleges that the defendants had prior knowledge of the risk for metallosis, biologic toxicity and a high (and early) failure rate without imparting that information to doctors or their patients.

Among the allegations related to the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement system is the release of particles stemming from the early ''wearing-in'' period of the metal acetabular cup. Particles are alleged to contribute to tissue death and tumor growth, as well as the release of toxic metal ions into the patient's tissue and blood stream.

Nine months after the DePuy Orthopaedics product was implanted into the plaintiff's right hip, the device was recalled by the health authority in Australia, in December 2009.

Britton alleges that he suffers from natural biologic corrosion and friction wear to his right hip, together with diminished function. Not only can he not walk without a cane, the plaintiff alleges he is also unable to work, squat or kneel without extreme difficulty. The muscle mass and strength he was expecting to possess following his surgery has failed to materialize.

Jodi Britton also alleges that she has suffered as the result of caring for her husband after he received the Pinnacle hip replacement.

Hip replacements are normally expected to last upwards of 20 years, with full function free of pain. Various plaintiffs allege this has not been the case with the DePuy Pinnacle.

Defendants in the lawsuit include DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., DePuy Inc., Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Inc. The action was filed in US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and seeks $150,000 in damages.

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