The first bellwether lawsuits over Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics’ recalled ASR metal hip implants will begin in 2013. U.S. District Judge David Katz has ordered both plaintiffs and defendants in the multi-district litigation against DePuy to each choose four ASR revision cases as bellwether trial candidates that will begin in 2013. Both plaintiffs and defendants had until August 8, 2012 to select which cases it wants to pursue. Both parties were forbidden from picking lawsuits brought by patients that had both of their hips repaired with the ASR implants.
DePuy Orthopedics voluntarily pulled its ASR X: Acetabular and ASR Hip Resurfacing systems from the marketing in August 2010. They had received reports that a much higher than normal number of patients needed surgery to either remove or correct the implants in their bodies. Data analyzed from the National Joint Registry from England and Wales found a 5 year revision rate of between 12% and 13% for the two systems. Over 96,000 people were affected by this huge global recall. Over 1,100 patients have joined a multidistrict lawsuit against DePuy that is consolidated in Texas under Judge James Kinkeade.
Plaintiffs and defendants will have until November 1, 2012 to conduct all depositions related to the lawsuit, including plaintiffs, implanting surgeons, explanting surgeons, and “one fact witness per side as necessary to determine whether the case should be designated as a bellwether trial candidate case,” according to the recent court order.
The parties will then have until December 1, 2012 to tell the court which cases should go forward. If there is no agreement on the cases by December 15, 2012, the court will choose for them.
The first bellwether case will commence on May 6, 2013, and the second will begin on July 8, 2013.