First Bellwether Trial in Pinnacle Hip Replacement MDL Set for September, 2014
On September 1, 2014, the first bellwether trial of the Pinnacle hip replacement lawsuit MDL 2244 will consolidate complaints relating to DePuy’s Pinnacle hip devices.
In May 2012, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated federal DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuit complaints into multidistrict litigation. The centralized litigation, known as MDL 2244, is located in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas where it will be presided over by Judge Ed Kinkeade.
The MDL steadily moves forward
Over the last six months, the MDL has been moving steadily forward. On August 9, 2012, representatives for the plaintiffs and defense gathered for a status conference. At the time, they failed to reach an agreement on one letter that DePuy could use in conjunction with an FDA-mandated explant study, which is meant to inform surgeons and hospitals involved in DePuy revision surgeries on the importance of cooperating to preserve the explanted devices.
Judge creates a timeline for the MDL cases
Case Management Order No. 8, dated on August 14, 2012, mandates several pretrial procedures and creates a timeline for MDL cases to go to trial. Among Judge Kinkeade’s scheduled items:
• October 29, 2012: The Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee must provide an initial list of requested deponents.
• December 31, 2012: Defendants must file a certificate that all relevant documents responsive to discovery requests have been produced.
• September 2, 2013: Both parties must file their recommended selection of 4-6 cases to be included in an initial bellwether trial process.
• May 27, 2014: Expert and fact discovery in the first bellwether trial case must be completed.
Furthermore, Judge Kinkeade’s order states that the first lawsuit for Pinnacle hip implant failure to be tried in the MDL must be ready for September 1, 2014.
The purpose of the MDL
An MDL is designed to consolidate pending complaints. It helps streamline legal processes, reduce costs, and minimize contradictory and/or duplicate rulings. According to reports, DePuy and its parent company Johnson & Johnson have earmarked a significant settlement fund for litigation involving both the Pinnacle and ASR hip implants. A separate MDL has been established in the Northern District of Ohio for the ASR device, which was the subject of a DePuy implant recall in 2010.