The first bellwether trial in Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary over injuries allegedly caused by its metal-on-metal hip implants has been postponed. U.S. District Judge David Katz continued the case, which had been scheduled to start September 24, because of unresolved discovery issues. Judge Katz said that the trial should begin within 90 days. The case involves allegations that DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. failed to warn Anne McCracken, the Plaintiff, and her doctors that its ASR hip implants could cause pain and loss of mobility and require revisionary surgery.
This lawsuit is slated to be the first case in massive multidistrict litigation to go to verdict. There have been two ASR trials against DePuy in state court. A Los Angeles jury returned an $8.3 million judgment against DePuy in March, while a Chicago jury found for the company in April.
The Plaintiff in the MDL bellwether case, an upstate New York resident, was implanted with an ASR implant in August 2009. She alleged in her complaint that she was forced to undergo a “painful and risky” revisionary surgery in January 2011, “years sooner than anticipated had the ASR hip functioned as intended.” In July 2011 and again in September 2011, Ms. McCracken’s hip was dislocated because of the damage caused by the implant. She had to undergo a second revisionary surgery in October 2011, according to her complaint. The claims in the lawsuit are for defective design, failure to warn, breach of warranty, negligence and violation of New York business law.
DePuy sold more than 33,000 ASR implants for patients undergoing total hip replacement before recalling the products in 2010. It has projected that 37 percent of the implants will fail prematurely. Other estimates have put the figure at more than 60 percent. More than 11,000 patients have filed suits. Ms. McCracken is represented by Michelle Kranz with the Toledo, Ohio, firm Zoll Kranz & Borgess; R. Eric Kennedy and David Landever who are with Weisman Kennedy & Berris, a Cleveland, Ohio firm; and Stephen C. Schwarz and Hadley L. Matarazzo of Faraci Lange, located in Rochester, New York. The case is McCracken v. Depuy Orthopaedics Inc., et al. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.
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