Monday, April 30, 2012

Depositions In Federal DePuy ASR Litigation Continue Over Recalled Hip Replacement Implants

Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports that a series of depositions of DePuy Orthopaedic executives as well as one of the developers of the recalled hip replacement systems were recently noticed in In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2197”), which is currently underway in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.* In addition to the deposition of Dr. Thomas Vail, who developed the recalled hip replacement, several company executives were noticed in the federal DePuy ASR litigation, including: the Senior Bioengineer; the Group Manager, Global Testing & Simulation; and the Product Director of Hip Marketing. These depositions are scheduled to take place during May and June 2012.

These upcoming depositions will cover a range of topics including: the design, sale, promotion and marketing of the ASR hip implants, as well as communications relating to complications, post market surveillance and recall of the devices. The DePuy executives have also been asked to produce documents, notes, outlines, presentation materials, testimonies and oral proposals prepared or given to them that reference or relate to the recalled hip replacement systems.

In addition to these upcoming depositions, a status conference in the federal DePuy ASR litigation has been scheduled for May 1, 2012, at 11:30 a.m. at the Paul G. Rogers Federal Building and United States Courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida. Subsequently, an open court conference will commence at 12:30 p.m. on that same day.**

Developer Of Recalled Hip Replacement Expected To Testify On A Variety ASR Related Topics

In addition to being credited as one of the main designers and developers of the DePuy ASR hip implant, Dr. Thomas Vail also provided the company with a wide range of consulting services.*** According to Bloomberg Businessweek, he was paid $552,000 in royalty income for intellectual property and/or product development in 2009 and 2010. Bloomberg reported that in addition to receiving payments for product development, Dr. Vail attended DePuy meetings in support of the ASR products and actively promoted them to his peers. According to Bloomberg, Dr. Vail’s participation has resulted in him being a named defendant in patient lawsuits against DePuy, alleging that he assured “orthopedic surgeons during these meetings that the ASR System was safe, was the best product on the market, had an excellent track record and a low and acceptable failure rate.”

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