Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bellwether Trials For Hip Replacement Lawsuits In DePuy ASR MDL On Horizon

 Excerpts from Bernstein Liebhard LLP

On March 5, 2012, Judge Katz vacated a DePuy ASR MDL status conference scheduled for March 15, 2012.** According to the order, the conference was vacated because "discovery is proceeding apace which negates the necessity." In lieu of the meeting, Judge Katz held a telephonic status conference on March 15, 2012. Given that discovery is moving without delay, during the telephonic status conference, Judge Katz requested that lead counsel meet and confer to discuss the issue of bellwether trials for the initial group of hip replacement lawsuits. The purpose of "bellwether" trials is to try cases that are representative of plaintiffs' claims generally and to determine the strength of plaintiffs' claims and the extent of defendants' potential liability. Judge Katz ordered lead counsel to submit a joint proposal of competing bellwether trial selection protocols by April 27, 2012. In the interim, key witnesses in the DePuy ASR MDL continue to be deposed. 


  1. Interesting. I didn't know that bellweather trials were part of the process. Makes sense. Seems to me the costs of ongoing medical care for people affected could be huge.

  2. So few people seemd to have signed up with lawyers though. 100,000 patients affected world wide. Only 3000 have signed up in the US. if these patients don't sign up before the statue of limitations runs out, they are out of luck.

    Whatever message is being used to market to the patients isn't really resonating with them.

    1. I am wondering if they are just out of luck for pain and suffering but the medical costs still get underwritten?

      I don't know.

    2. They are definitely out of luck for filing a lawsuit for pain and suffering compensation. Right now DePuy/J&J is using Broadspire to pay medical claims, but there is no guarantee that they will continue to do this (it's being done on their own volition, not mandated by any court or federal agency). If DePuy/J&J decide to end the Broadspire medical reimbursement program, then individuals who have not filed a lawsuit within the appropriate amount of time (the statute of limitations) will have little to no recourse to get outstanding medical bills paid.

  3. Has anyone heard that some of the lawsuits are actually being filed against the 2 doctors who designed the device and the cases are being heard in California? I don't think these cases are added to the total number of suits being brought against Depuy/J&J. 3,000 is a small number when considering that possibly 50% of ASR recipients will have complications with the device much sooner than would have happened with other devices.