Lawsuits Over DePuy Pinnacle Hip Replacements Moving Forward in MDL

Lawyers involved in the federal litigation over problems with DePuy Pinnacle hip replacements are scheduled to meet with the MDL Court this week, where they are expected to discuss a Case Management Order that will provide a “viable and firm schedule” for proceeding with the lawsuits.

A Conference is scheduled to occur on Wednesday morning before U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade, who is presiding over the consolidated federal DePuy Pinnacle litigation.

In May 2011, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized pretrial proceedings in the cases before Judge Kinkeade in the in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

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According to a Master Case List issued earlier this month, more than 1,000 DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuits have already been transferred into the MDL. All of the cases involve similar allegations that design defects with DePuy Pinnacle hip replacements caused plaintiffs to experience problems with their implant within a few years, often resulting in the need for revision surgery.

In advance of the conference, Judge Kinkeade asked the parties to meet with a Special Master to discuss their respective views on a Case Management Order, whether separate tracks should be created for different configurations of the DePuy Pinnacle hip, and other procedural issues, including coordination with lawsuits pending in state court.

The parties were also asked to reach an agreement for a long-form and short-form complaint procedure, a fact sheet that will be completed by each plaintiff to provide additional information on the background of their claim, and a protocol for joint production of documents and designation of privileged documents.

In addition to defending the lawsuits over DePuy Pinnacle hip replacements, Johnson & Johnson and DePuy also face thousands of lawsuits over their DePuy ASR hip replacement, which was pulled from the market in August 2010 due to a higher-than-expected failure rate. Those cases are consolidated in a separate MDL, which is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

The DePuy ASR hip was approved as a substantial equivalent design to the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip.  According to allegations raised in several complaints, a DePuy Pinnacle hip recall should have also be issued due to similar design problems.


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