If you are one of the thousands of people who received a DePuy ASR hip replacement system before the August 2010 recall, and have experienced complications such as hip replacement failure or metallosis, you’ve probably been waiting for the company that caused your pain and suffering to be held accountable.  You want justice.  You want your day in court.

On July 25, 2012, the Honorable David A. Katz, who is overseeing the federal litigation involving the DePuy ASR hip implants, set the groundwork so that Johnson & Johnson and DePuy will face their first federal ASR trial.  He established guidelines for the selection process that will determine which cases will go to trial first. In a multidistrict litigation like this, where there are large numbers of plaintiffs suing the same defendants (in this case, DePuy Orthopaedics and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson) ), the court selects a few bellwether cases to go to a jury trial in order to gauge the likelihood of outcomes in future related cases.  In other words, these bellwether trials are somewhat like test trials. The term bellwether derives from an English term, which referred to a ram with a bell around his neck whose purpose was to lead the rest of his flock. His bell was used to help the shepherds keep track of which direction the flock was going. The first bellwether trial is scheduled to begin on May 6, 2013 with the second trial set for July 8, 2013.

The purpose of bellwether trials is to predict how other juries are likely to decide the outcome of cases that are factually similar. For example, individuals who have filed DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits incurred similarly unpleasant side effects, such as hip replacement failure and metallosis after receiving the metal-on-metal hip replacement systems manufactured by the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. Many people who have experienced those side effects have had to undergo painful revision surgery to have the defective implants removed.

Given that more than 4,000 cases are pending in the consolidated litigation in federal court, the upcoming bellwether trials are very significant.  Their outcomes will not only impact the individual plaintiffs whose cases are selected, but will also likely set expectations for thousands of others who are eager to have their day in court.

If you think you may be eligible to file a claim against the device manufacturer, the DePuy hip lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP can help you. Our attorneys are currently filing lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have been injured as a result of being implanted with a DePuy ASR hip replacement. Learn more about the DePuy ASR hip lawsuits by visiting our website, or calling us today for a free and confidential case evaluation at (877) 779-1414.

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Published September 10, 2012 by