Rottenstein Law Group Learns of DePuy Support for Multidistrict Litigation of Federal Pinnacle Hip Replacement Device Lawsuits
(New York, NY, May 2, 2011) The Rottenstein Law Group, which represents clients with claims stemming from the failures of defective hip replacement devices manufactured and sold by DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, has learned that DePuy supports consolidation of federal Pinnacle lawsuits into a single Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) proceeding for the purposes of pre-trial discovery.
One of the first plaintiffs to file suit against DePuy, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California (Catherine Falvey v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. et al) in late March, petitioned the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all federal Pinnacle lawsuits. Falvey specifically proposed that the MDL be assigned to either the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas or that of the Central District of California.
In a response filed on April 18, DePuy agreed that MDL would be useful, but counter-proposed that the cases be assigned to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, before Chief District Judge Sidney Fitzwater. The JPML is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the motion at its next session, on May 16, in Louisville, Kentucky.
MDL is an option that allows for greater efficiency when handling numerous lawsuits by different plaintiffs against one defendant or a common group of defendants. Unlike a class action lawsuit, MDL does not distribute equal damages to all parties involved; instead, it consolidates all pre-trial disclosures and eliminates inconsistent pre-trial rulings by multiple judges. In effect, MDL speeds up the litigation process for all involved, and gives plaintiffs the ability to maintain their individual lawsuits to take their cases to trial separately if they choose to do so.
In August, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested a recall of DePuy’s ASR hip replacement systems, due to an unacceptably high rate of failure. The devices were failing an estimated 12% within five years of initial implantation. The FDA based its approval of the ASR devices on their similarity to the Pinnacle systems, which were already for sale, and in widespread use. Currently, the FDA is receiving complaints about the older Pinnacle systems; to date, there have been more than 1,300 reports citing that the device loosens and causes severe pain when the recipient engages in simple movements and normal, everyday activities. Another serious side effect of the Pinnacle systems was reported by the New York Times in December, claiming that metal can flake off the device and embed itself into the surrounding tissue, putting the recipient at risk of developing metal poisoning. At least one plaintiff has already filed a lawsuit claiming this very issue with his Pinnacle hip replacement system.
There has been no official recall of the Pinnacle systems, but, having recalled the DePuy ASR systems from the market, the FDA is likely watching the Pinnacle situation very closely. According to public filings, Johnson & Johnson has set aside $922 million of its $1.8 billion 2010 profit for litigation stemming from the recall of its DePuy ASR hip replacement systems.
The Rottenstein Law Group is advising anyone with a friend or relative who has undergone a hip replacement procedure to reach out to that person and recommend that he or she consult a physician immediately and then speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer. The Rottenstein Law Group lawyers have a total of more than 25 years of experience fighting for the rights of clients who have suffered harm due to the negligence of large corporations. Affected individuals can also stay apprised of the latest developments in the DePuy Pinnacle situation by visiting the DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuit Information Center. The site is equipped with easy-to-use social media features to enable users to spread the word about DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement device failures.
About the Rottenstein Law Group
The Rottenstein Law Group is a New York-based law firm that represents clients in mass tort actions. The firm was founded by Rochelle Rottenstein, a lawyer with over two decades of experience in compassionate representation of clients in consumer product injury, mass tort, and class action law suits. For more information, please visit their Web site, or call (888) 9-ROT-LAW.
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