DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has yet to issue a recall for its Pinnacle system. However, similar to the recalled ASR models, there are concerns that the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, also a metal-on-metal implant device, might have significant design defects leading to a higher than normal failure rate. DePuy has reportedly sold over 150,000 Pinnacle hip implant systems, largely outselling the ASR models. As of last month, the FDA had received more than 1,300 “adverse events reports” with regard to the Pinnacle system.
In March 2011, a petition was filed to consolidate all federal DePuy Pinnacle cases in either the Southern District of Texas or the Central District of California. Alternatively, the petition also asked that the United States Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (MDL) consider adding the Pinnacle cases to the already pending DePuy ASR MDL, which is centralized in the Northern District Court of Ohio. In April 2011, DePuy responded to the petition, conceding that the cases should be consolidated for discovery purposes, but suggested the MDL take place in the Northern District of Texas. The decision is expected to be made when the Panel convenes on May 16, 2011, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Over 30 federal cases have been filed across 18 districts. Granting MDL treatment will consolidate all federal lawsuits filed across the U.S. into one centralized district. This consolidation will streamline the pretrial discovery process, allowing the parties to avoid duplicative discovery and inconsistent rulings from different judges.