PRESS RELEASE:

Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports that the Honorable David A. Katz, who is overseeing the federal DePuy ASR hip replacement lawsuits, In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation (“MDL No. 2197”), in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, issued three new orders following a November 22, 2011 status conference.*  The status conference was attended by lead counsel, executive committee members and other lawyers involved in the litigation.  These latest rulings target discovery matters and lawyers’ fees.

Specifically, Judge Katz issued an Amended Stipulated Protective Order of Confidentiality to address a potential disclosure problem regarding expert witnesses. Often, in complex litigations, experts are asked to opine on highly confidential information with respect to a corporate defendant.  This order provides detailed disclosure instructions so that corporate documents are protected without infringing on plaintiffs’ right to consult with experts, who may be associated with DePuy’s competitors.  Judge Katz also granted an extension for the filing of Plaintiff Fact Sheets, recognizing that the deadline for submitting the initial group of Fact Sheets conflicted with the holidays.  In a mass tort case, such as the DePuy ASR MDL, Plaintiff Fact Sheets are discovery tools used by defendants to obtain basic information about the plaintiff as well as specific information about the nature of plaintiff’s injuries.  The extension will make certain that plaintiffs’ counsel have adequate time to gather necessary information from clients.  Finally, Judge Katz issued an order regarding the sharing of attorneys’ fees and expenses between attorneys. Although there are thousands of individual lawsuits in the MDL, in order to promote judicial efficiency, only a small group of attorneys have been charged with the day-to-day management of the DePuy ASR litigation.  To ensure that the costs and expenses are shared equally by all of the attorneys and not borne solely by those leading the litigation, Judge Katz established a common benefit fund. Common benefit funds are customary in multidistrict litigations; these funds act as a mechanism to collectively handle costs associated with court filings, depositions, administrative matters, expert witnesses and investigative services that may be incurred during the litigation process.  The fund only affects the distribution of fees between attorneys; there is no additional cost to clients. In other words, the fund does not affect an individual’s amount of recovery, if any.  In addition to issuing these rulings, Judge Katz scheduled the next status conference for January 23, 2012.

Since Johnson & Johnson issued its ASR hip recall in August 2010, Bernstein Liebhard LLP has provided a wealth of consumer information concerning both the Pinnacle and ASR hip systems on its website, http://www.consumerinjurylawyers.com. If you or a loved one received a DePuy ASR or Pinnacle implant during hip surgery and have experienced hip replacement pain or had to undergo revision surgery, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other injuries.

*ecf.ohnd.uscourts.gov/doc1/14115891043, ecf.ohnd.uscourts.gov/doc1/14115896992 and ecf.ohnd.uscourts.gov/doc1/14115897034

For more information about filing a DePuy hip replacement lawsuit, contact an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP at (877) 779-1414 or at info@consumerinjurylawyers.com.

About Bernstein Liebhard LLP

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993, including those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs, defective medical devices and consumer products. The firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the “Plaintiffs’ Hot List,” recognizing the top plaintiffs’ firms in the country for the past nine consecutive years. Only two firms in the country have been selected for the Hot List nine years in a row.

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Published November 28, 2011 by