Austin Willis has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy over the metal-on-metal (MoM) Pinnacle hip implant he was forced to replace after having the implant for only two years. According to the lawsuit, Willis, a civil servant, had his hip replaced in February 2009 with the Pinnacle device. Willis said, “I was in agony for four months after the surgery.” Willis had to undergo risky revision surgery in February 2011 after tests showed he had developed a serious infection.
According to the lawsuit, his second implant was a new ceramic-on-ceramic device. Willis is the first person in Northern Ireland to file a lawsuit against the orthopedics giant over the MoM hip replacement systems; though his attorney believes that a significantly low estimate suggests more than 200 persons in Northern Ireland could be facing revision surgery, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
A spokesperson for DePuy said its metal-on-metal systems are “performing consistent with or better than other metal-on-metal products and consistent with benchmarks set by the UK National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence.” The spokesperson also said “The majority of patients implanted with MOM hip replacements have well functioning hips and are thought to be at a low risk of developing serious problems.
“A small number of patients implanted with these hips may, however, develop progressive soft tissue reactions to the wear debris associated with MoM articulations.”