In May of last year, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) formed the second metal-on-metal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). The JPML centralized pretrial proceedings of all actions involving DePuy’s Pinnacle Acetabular Cup system in the Northern District of Texas. Currently, approximately 984 DePuy Pinnacle claims are pending before Judge James E. Kinkeade in the U.S. District Court for the Northen District of Texas (MDL 2244).
There are various configurations of the DePuy Pinnacle articulating surface, including polyethylene-on-metal and metal-on-metal. The Pinnacle metal-on-metal articulation has sparked the most controversy as patients have reported issues similar to those reported in DePuy ASR patients, including pain, swelling, component loosening and need for premature revision surgery. As with the ASR, there is also a danger for metallosis, a condition involving the build-up of metallic debris in the soft tissues of the body.
In June 2011, Judge Kinkeade ordered a stay of all discovery and motion proceedings until further order of the Court. He lifted his stay in January, 2012, allowing all involved with the Pinnacle MDL to proceed with the litigation. In response to the order lifting the stay, a group of lawyers leading the charge in the Pinnacle MDL for claimants met last month to discuss the administration of the Pinnacle litigation. Those in attendance included the members of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (PEC) and Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), which were selected in January to oversee the coordination of the Pinnacle MDL. Navan Ward, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, had been selected by the Court to serve on the PSC.
Many issues were discussed at the meeting of the Plaintiffs’ lawyers, including various administrative matters aimed at moving the MDL toward discovery. A Scheduling Order is expected to be finalized soon. The good news is that the start of the discovery process is now on the horizon. Many of the PEC and PSC members are also heavily involved in the ASR litigation. These lawyers are using the experiences earned and information gathered in that ACR litigation to help lead the Pinnacle MDL.
Consolidating the cases into a MDL allows the committee overseeing the process to put more pressure and focus on moving the cases toward resolution. Lawyers will coordinate the litigation and work together on resolving issues that come up during the course of the litigation. Navan not only serves on the PSC for the Pinnacle MDL, but he is also serving on the PSC for the DePuy ASR Recall MDL located in the Northern District of Ohio. Navan is helping to coordinate both litigations, and working with other lawyers on science and discovery issues. Navan also serves as Co-Chair to the DePuy Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Litigation Group for the American Association for Justice.
Anyone with either the ASR or Pinnacle hip should have his or her case investigated to determine its merits. If you need more information, or would like for us to work on a claim, contact Navan Ward at 800-898-2034 or by email at Navan.Ward@beasleyallen.com.
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