On September 1, 2014, the trial began in one of the eight bellwether or lead cases in the coordinated DePuy Pinnacle metal on metal hip implant litigation or MDL pending in the Northern District of Texas before Judge Ed Kinkeade. To date, there are more than 6,500 cases filed in the MDL.
The plaintiff, Mrs. Herlihy-Paoli from Montana, was implanted with two Pinnacle metal on metal hips in late 2009. Within a few years, Mrs. Herlihy-Paoli began to develop severe pain and testing showed that she had very high levels of cobalt ions in her blood. A pseudotumor or fluid effusion was also found in the area her left hip implant. Due to the severity of her symptoms, her orthopedic surgeon recommended revision. Her left Pinnacle hip implant was removed in April 2011 and the surgeon noted that the device turned black due to the severity of the metallosis. Mrs. Herlihy-Paoli underwent a second surgery to remove her right Pinnacle hip implant in November 2011.
Prior to trial, DePuy filed numerous pre-trial motions attempting to dismiss the case or delay the trial and to exclude testimony offered by several of plaintiff's experts. Judge Kinkeade dismissed all of DePuy's motions.
The trial is now in its sixth week and is expected to conclude shortly. The case will then go to the jury to decide whether DePuy is responsible for Mrs. Herlihy-Paoli injuries, and if the jury finds DePuy at fault, the jurors will then determine the amount of damages she will receive.