First Trial Dates Set for DePuy ASR Recall Lawsuits in New Jersey Superior Court
DePuy ASR recall lawsuits are moving forward in New Jersey Superior Court. According to a report from MassDevice.com, attorneys for both sides have been ordered to each designate three DePuy ASR hip lawsuits currently pending in the state as possible candidates for the trials by Monday, October 15th. The DePuy ASR recall litigation’s first trials will begin this fall.
The DePuy ASR hip recall was announced in August 2010, and involved DePuy Orthopaedics’ ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Hip Resurfacing hip devices. Both are metal-on-metal hip implants, a class of implants that has come under great scrutiny in recent years. A number of recent studies have indicated that such implants can shed dangerous amounts of metal ions into tissue surrounding the implant. This can lead to early implant failure, as well as a soft-tissue reaction called metallosis, which can result in tissue death and the formation of pseudo tumors and effusions (pockets of fluid) in the area of the joint. Some research has also indicated that the accumulation of toxic metal ions in the bloodstream may affect other organ systems, including the heart and kidneys, in the long-term.
Since the DePuy ASR recall was announced, thousands of people have filed lawsuits against DePuy Orthopaedics and its parent, Johnson & Johnson. About 2,000 DePuy hip recall lawsuits are pending in state courts, including New Jersey, according to Mass Device. More than 4,000 additional lawsuits are pending in a multidistrict litigation underway in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio.
According to the MassDevice.com report, the first trials in the New Jersey DePuy ASR litigation will be heard September 9 and October 21, 2013. Attorneys for both sides will have until January 15 to conduct discovery. They must then tell the court by February 1 which of the six cases they’ve agreed to select for bellwether trials. The court will make that decision should the attorneys not be able to reach agreement.
Bellwether trials have also been scheduled in the federal DePuy ASR hip litigation, according to MassDevice.com. The first will begin on May 6, 2013, and the second will follow on July 8, 2013.
In August, Bloomberg News reported that DePuy and Johnson & Johnson had settled three DePuy ASR hip recall lawsuits filed in state court in Nevada for a total of $600,000. According to the report, the cases settled on the eve of what would have been the first DePuy ASR hip recall trial in the nation. One expert interviewed by Bloomberg said the settlements were “at the low end of what the company should have expected to pay.”
Another state-level trial, this time in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is expected to begin in January, Bloomberg said.