Judge presiding over DePuy ASR hip implant litigation sets date for status update


The federal judge presiding over the Multidistrict Litigation regarding injuries suffered by recipients of the recalled DePuy Orthopaedics ASR hip implant has set a date for a conference to update lead attorneys on the status of the ongoing court action.

According to information from the court, Judge David Katz scheduled a status conference for May 1 in his U.S. District courtroom in the Northern District of Ohio. Katz, at that conference, plans to update each side of the litigation on the status of the discovery phase. The DePuy ASR MDL includes hundreds, and likely thousands, of lawsuits filed against the manufacturer of the now-recalled metal-on-metal hip implant.

Last month, Katz updated the same parties on the progress being made in the discovery phase of the litigation and for May’s conference, he’d like to discuss what individual lawsuits could be candidates for the first round of bellwether trials. MDL expedites and streamlines the discovery phase of eventual trials from numerous lawsuits making similar claims. Although the many lawsuits claiming injuries caused by the defective and dangerous ASR metal-on-metal hip implant are consolidated at this point, select cases will be picked for initial bellwether trials. The results of those trials will be used to get settlements for many others, avoiding trials altogether.

Still, individual Plaintiffs can reject any would-be settlement and choose to pursue their case before a jury.

It’s believed there are many more potential Plaintiffs for the DePuy ASR consolidated litigation are currently walking around on the devices. More than 97,000 hips were sold worldwide and at least two-thirds of those in the U.S. The ASR hip implant was recalled because it was associated with an abnormally high failure rate. At least 13 percent of all these metal-on-metal hip implants are likely to fail early and they all pose a risk of toxic metal poisoning to recipients.