DePuy ASR Litigation Hearing: Judges Agree It Makes No Sense To “Reinvent the Wheel”
On June 1, 2011, Judge Brian R. Martinotti and Judge David A. Katz held a joint status conference regarding the DePuy ASR lawsuits. Judge Martinotti is overseeing the coordinated DePuy ASR cases in New Jersey state court, while Judge Katz has been assigned to manage the federal DePuy ASR MDL. The purpose of the conference was to promote coordination and communication of the state and federal court actions. A state court judge from California also participated in the conference. Although the discovery portion of the litigation is farther along in the federal MDL than the New Jersey state court action, Judge Martinotti noted that he is encouraging counsel to adopt as many of the federal MDL orders as possible, because it does not make sense to “reinvent the wheel.” Clearly, the goal of the conference was to ensure effective communication on both the state and federal levels so that discovery issues (document production, master short form answers/complaints, experts, etc.) are consistent and expedited, but also to establish a uniform protocol regarding the preservation and testing of patient explants. It is the judges’ hope that the New Jersey and California state courts will adopt the same procedural explant preservation protocol, which has already been ordered in the federal MDL. This is important so that hospitals and surgeons nationwide abide by the same policies. Additionally, we expect that as a result of today’s conference a few new orders will be issued, containing minor revisions. As always, stay tuned for the latest developments in the DePuy ASR litigation.