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Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip Litigation: 14 Week Trial now Completed as the Judge Retires to Consider her Verdict

For the last three and a half months the High Court has been hearing evidence in the Pinnacle Metal on Metal Hip Litigation before Mrs Justice Andrews who heard the parties' final submissions on 26 January 2018

Posted on 03 February 2018

Over the past three months the High Court has heard submissions made on behalf of both parties by the leading QCs in the field of product liability law as well as evidence from individual Lead Claimants and their treating clinicians, witnesses for the Defendant (regarding manufacturing and design); professors in a number of fields from engineering to epidemiology; along with expert clinicians and biostatisticians.

In total the transcripts of oral evidence heard by the Court runs to nearly 5,000 pages. In addition the Judge will also have to review the very lengthy written submissions on law made on behalf of the Defendants in the Zimmer, Biomet, Smith & Nephew and Wright Conserve group actions, whose representatives were present at court throughout the trial.

Lawyers from Leigh Day representing the claimants put forward their case that the Pinnacle Ultamet device, a modular metal-on-metal hip implant, manufactured by Leeds based Depuy, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson, was defective and caused their clients to suffer an 'adverse reaction to metal debris' (ARMD) and consequent early revision of their prostheses.

In her final comments to the Court on 26 January 2018 the Judge said the following:

"Can I say that it has been an absolute pleasure to listen to submissions of such clarity and such quality on both sides over this very lengthy and interesting case and also that the spirit in which these proceedings have been conducted, notwithstanding the difficulties of the issues at stake for everybody concerned I think is to be commended….

"I know how important this case is. I'm sure that there are one or two claimants or their representatives here in court who have been here. Can I give you my assurance that I will do my level best to try and get the judgment to you as soon as possible but you will appreciate that there is quite a lot of homework for me to do."

It is anticipated that the Judgment in this matter will be available to the parties by April 2018. Further updates will follow.