Saturday, November 2, 2013

Request to Stay in DePuy Pinnacle MDL Granted

October 28, 2013 By: Hip Replacements
      U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas has granted a request to stay most of the pending DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits in multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2244, with the exception of a small selection of bellwether trials. These bellwether cases are moving forward toward their trial dates. The request to stay was filed by all involved parties and the Judge’s Order granting the request was issued on September 30, 2013. It has been anticipated that the stay will remain in effect until the conclusion of the bellwether trials. Pending any possible delays, the trials are expected to begin in September 2014.

Bellwether trials expected to hint at future trends

MDL No. 2244 centralizes all complaints filed against DePuy Orthopaedics with regards to the company’s Pinnacle medical device, a type of artificial hip replacement. The MDL was formed by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) in May 2011 for the purpose of increasing the efficiency of the litigation process. The formation of an MDL is a common occurrence when large numbers of plaintiffs file similar lawsuits against a particular defendant. By joining the MDL, the plaintiffs retain their rights to an individual trial, yet share pretrial proceedings to avoid duplicative discovery and contradictory rulings. Currently, there are more than 4,800 DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits pending in MDL No. 2244.

The bellwether cases were selected as the first cases to go to trial. Bellwether trials in an MDL serve as a method of gauging the reactions of juries to evidence and testimony. Most often, the involved parties use bellwether trials as a means to anticipate future trends in the litigation. For example, if a substantial jury award is handed down for the first bellwether trial, the defendants may be more amenable toward settlement negotiations for future cases.

The remaining DePuy Pinnacle complaints in the MDL will also have their day in court. A motion to stay is not the same action as a motion to dismiss; these lawsuits have simply been placed on hold for the time being. Granting a request to stay is a common occurrence in mass litigation proceedings

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