January 30, 2013 — Lawyers in the DePuy Pinnacle hip implant litigation have agreed upon selection criteria for the first bellwether trials. The selection criteria was outlined in a Special Master’s Report, dated January 16, 2013, and filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas division, where the Multi-District Litigation (MDL) is located. The first trials are scheduled to begin in September 2014. More than 3,200 DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits have been centralized in the MDL.
The Plaintiffs Lead Counsel will have until April 1 to make a list of cases that can be tried in the Northern District of Texas. By June 1, Plaintiffs and Defendants will each select four cases as proposed bellwether trial candidates. This will result in an initial pool of eight cases. The parties will then be given time to gather additional medical records, X-ray records, employment records, and disability records. They will have until August 19 to conduct depositions of the plaintiff’s doctor and one sales representative.
By September 2, 2013, the parties will submit a list of four agreed-upon bellwether trial candidates. If they cannot agree on four cases, each side will submit their own list of four candidates and the Court will decide which cases will go to trial. The Court has the final say in the selection of the cases and the order of the cases.
The DePuy Pinnacle hip implant is a metal-on-metal hip implant that consists of a chromium-cobalt “ball and socket” design made entirely of metal. Individuals who are implanted with this device can suffer toxic metal poisoning (metallosis) when the metal parts grind together and shed particles of metal into tissues surrounding the hip.
The DePuy Pinnacle is the predecessor to the DePuy ASR hip implant. Both are metal-on-metal hip implants. The ASR litigation is currently underway, and witnesses have testified that DePuy was aware of serious problems with the ASR at least two years before they issued a recall. The ASR has also been linked to at least a 40% five-year failure rate. Although the ASR and the Pinnacle are very similar, the ASR has been recalled, but the Pinnacle has not.
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