Bellwether Trial for Pinnacle Hip MDL Set For September 2014
For any DePuy hip lawyer involved in the Pinnacle hip lawsuit MDL, a new date looms on the horizon: September 1, 2014. In less than two years’ time, MDL 2244, which consolidates complaints relating to DePuy’s Pinnacle hip devices, is scheduled to begin its first bellwether trial on that date.
JPML consolidates cases into DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuit MDL
In May 2011, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated federal DePuy Pinnacle hip lawsuit complaints into multidistrict litigation. Known as MDL 2244, the centralized litigation is located in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Judge Ed Kinkeade presides.
The goal of the MDL is to consolidate pending complaints. An MDL 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 hip recall in 2010.
DePuy hip lawyer status conference: August 2012
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 that 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.
Additionally, Judge Kinkeade ordered all parties to confer and attempt to reach an agreement on the contents of DePuy’s communication with hospitals.
Judge Kinkeade establishes DePuy hip MDL schedule
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 Pinnacle hip lawsuit to be tried in the MDL – known as a bellwether trial – must be ready for September 1, 2014.