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DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuits Reportedly Consolidated

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Houston, TXReports indicate that litigation regarding the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement device has been approved for consolidation. A motion to consolidate DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits was reportedly filed by lawyers for the DePuy Pinnacle plaintiffs. According to a news release, the order to consolidate the DePuy Orthopaedics lawsuits was handed down on May 23, 2011.

Unlike the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System, the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant has not been recalled. Allegations concerning the DePuy Pinnacle, however, are similar to those made against the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular implant: that the metal-on-metal design allows metal shavings to come off the implant and be absorbed by the patient's surrounding tissue, resulting in a high level of metals in the patient's system. That metallic debris can cause pain, inflammation and can ultimately cause hip implant devices to fail.

The DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System is reportedly similar to the Pinnacle. Initially, reports indicated that the ASR system had a failure rate of around 12 percent. More recent reports, however, suggest that the failure rate of the DePuy ASR system could be as high as 21 percent after four years and up to 49 percent after six years.

Lawsuits have been filed against DePuy concerning its ASR XL Acetabular System, alleging that DePuy knew about the risks associated with its metal-on-metal implant but sold it on the market despite those risks. Approximately 95,000 people globally were affected by the DePuy ASR recall, involving both the XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System.

The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation allowed the Pinnacle lawsuits to be consolidated after finding that the various lawsuits involve similar allegations against DePuy.

The US Food and Drug Administration reportedly received 548 reports of adverse events regarding the DePuy Pinnacle products from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010. At least some of those reports involved a patient who required revision surgery either because the implant became loose or because it came out of position. It is not yet known if the issues are a result of defective implants or errors.

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