Our DePuy ASR hip recall lawyers are hopeful that one of the issues to be addressed at this week’s conference will be the confirmation of dates for the initial bellwether trials of the metal-on-metal hip lawsuits. As discussed during the last hearing, lawyers leading the DePuy ASR hip litigation are actively working towards this goal. As of that time, the first federal bellwether trial was expected to take place in Spring 2013.** Depositions of DePuy executives continue to be noticed, including:
- a company representative who can testify about DePuy’s postmarket surveillance procedures;
- DePuy’s Group Market/Product Manager; and
- DePuy’s Staff/Senior Bioengineer.***
What is a bellwether trial?
By definition Bellwether is an indicator of future trends. Courts utilize a bellwether approach when large numbers of plaintiffs are proceeding on the same theory or claim and there is no other feasible way for the courts to handle the enormous caseload. This approach has been used in many cases including asbestos litigation. A group of plaintiffs are chosen to represent all the plaintiffs. The issues for trial should concern common claims or theories among all the plaintiffs. These representative cases go for trial and the results act as the bellwether for the other plaintiffs’ trials. The verdict from this grouping is extrapolated to the remaining plaintiffs’ cases. The actual results may be utilized for valuing groups of claims in settlements. The plaintiffs can also choose to continue with their own individual trial.