The 2010 DePuy ASR hip recall affected roughly 93,000 people worldwide, 37,000 of which were patients who received the implant in the United States. To date, more than 10,000 of these patients have filed lawsuits in state and federal courts all around the country. In late August 2012 J&J paid three plaintiffs roughly $200,000 each to settle their respective ASR lawsuits, but so far these are the only three cases to have settled. In March 2013, the first DePuy ASR suit to go to trial resulted in an $8.35 million verdict in favor of a retired prison guard who was poisoned by the implant. The second ASR suit to go to trial is now underway in Chicago.
Breaking News – First DePuy ASR Trial Ends in $8.35M Award to Plaintiff. Read more about DePuy Settlements Here.
Multidistrict Litigation in Federal Court
In December 2010, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all federal-level DePuy ASR lawsuits into a single proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio before Judge David A. Katz. Other plaintiffs have avoided multidistrict litigation (MDL) in federal court and instead filed their cases in state court. Other ASR recipients abroad are suing DePuy in their own countries.
After hearing arguments for where the federal DePuy ASR MDL should be located, the JPML selected the federal court in Toledo, Ohio because it was near DePuy’s Warsaw, Indiana headquarters. Subsequently, the number of cases in the MDL quickly grew, and as of December, 2012, more than 6,200 individual lawsuits had been consolidated.
Plaintiffs can file short-form complaints if they wish to join the MDL, and this expedites the process significantly. A Court Preservation Order forbids DePuy from tampering with or destroying explanted ASRs and requires that the devices be returned to plaintiffs if they request them.
The first two MDL bellwether trials are scheduled to begin May 6, 2013 and July 8, 2013 respectively. On December 28, 2012, after attorneys for both sides reached a consensus, Judge Katz issued a formal “Bellwether Designation Order” that read: “Following submissions by the parties and consideration by the Court, the following cases are selected for trial:  Case No.: 1:11dp20112, Plaintiff Faye Dorney-Madgitz, May 2013;  Case No.: 1:11dp20485, Plaintiff Ann McCracken, July 2013.”
Cases in State Courts
Thousands of other ASR implant recipients in the U.S. have decided to forgo federal court in favor of bringing their ASR hip lawsuits in state court. They believe the MDL will take too long and that state court will be faster. Some evidence supports this belief. The very first DePuy ASR trial had been scheduled to begin in Nevada state court on December 3, 2012, but in late August 2012, the parties announced they had settled the three suits for a total of around $600,000, amounting to an average settlement of $200,000 per plaintiff. Eric Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s business school, believes the plaintiffs could have settled for a higher amount.
After the Nevada case settled, Plaintiff Moira Jackson’s Maryland State Court suit was next in line to become the first DePuy case to reach trial, and jury selection was completed the first week of January 2013. On January 7, 2013, however—the same day opening statements were set to begin—Ms. Jackson abruptly withdrew her case having decided to re-file it as part of the Ohio MDL instead.
Two weeks later though, on January 22, 2013, trial began in Plaintiff Loren Kransky’s California State Court suit and became the first to finally make it all the way through day one. The California case was not initially expected to reach trial so soon, but Plaintiff Kransky sought and was granted expedited litigation on the grounds of hardship due to ongoing medical problems. By the end of the first day of Kransky’s trial, news outlets were reporting that DePuy was prepared to offer a $2 billion dollar total settlement to state court plaintiffs (amounting again to roughly $200,000 per plaintiff), though the reports were based on anonymous sources and have not yet been confirmed.
Only one other state court lawsuit against DePuy has been given a prospective start date thus far—a trial is slated to begin in February 2013 in Illinois State Court in Chicago—but by mid-2013 many more state court cases are likely to progress to the point of trial-readiness.
DePuy Lawsuits Outside the United States
The ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System were both sold outside the United States, and it was thanks in part to artificial joint registries in Great Britain and Australia that evidence of the devices’ high failure rates came to light. Accurate information on the number of lawsuits pending is not easy to come by; however, estimates of the number of ASR recipients by country can be broken down as follows.
- 10,000 in the United Kingdom
- 4,000 in Australia and New Zealand
- 3,300 in Ireland
- 900 in Finland
- 300 in Czech Republic
RLG Represents ASR Recipients
If you received a recalled DePuy hip, schedule an appointment with your doctor promptly. Afterwards, you should consider joining the thousands of people who are suing DePuy. The lawsuits are progressing towards trial and the amount of compensation from a lawsuit is probably greater than what you would obtain by going through DePuy’s recall reimbursement process because as a plaintiff you would be able to demand damages for your full medical costs, lost income, transportation expenses, and pain and suffering you endured. For a free, confidential consultation with a lawyer from the Rottenstein Law Group, just click this link or call 1-877-277-5767.