DePuy ASR Hip Replacement Hearing Put Back Again

The twice-postponed DePuy ASR hip replacement hearing has been delayed once again – on this occasion due to a change of plaintiff and a ruling about referring to the DePuy recall in court as evidence.

The first scheduled Federal DePuy ASR hip replacement hearing was put back again last week after the parties in McCracken -v- DePuy (Case No 1:11 dp 20485) were allowed extra time by U.S. District Judge David A. Katz for discovery to take place and to attend to other legal matters.

The first `Bellwether` DePuy ASR hip replacement hearing has now been rescheduled for September 24th, and arguments will be heard regarding the hip dislocation sustained by Ann McCracken (57) from Rochester in New York, which is alleged to have been due to metal particles displaced by her DePuy ASR XL Hip Replacement System causing the soft tissues surrounding her hip to decay.

Ann had a DePuy ASR XL Hip Replacement System implanted in August 2009, but had to undergo revision surgery in January 2011 after her hip had dislocated. In October 2011, Ann had to undergo a further operation to insert a device restricting the movement of her hip, which has limited her mobility and will result in her present hip replacement system wearing out quicker than would usually be anticipated – resulting in another hip replacement operation in the future.

The latest delay is due to Judge Katz agreeing to the argument that the worldwide recall of the DePuy hip replacement systems should not be referred to in court – not only because the DePuy ASR hip replacement hearing should be judged on its individual merits, but DePuy´s lawyers successfully argued that any reference to the DePuy recall at trial might prevent other pharmaceutical companies from voluntarily withdrawing potentially dangerous medical devices because of the legal consequences.

One of the purposes of Ann McCracken´s ‘Bellwether’ DePuy ASR hip replacement hearing is to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the plaintiffs´ claims and DePuy Orthopedic´s defense. If Ann´s case – and others still to be scheduled among the `Bellwether’ trials – results in a yardstick for compensation settlements, DePuy Orthopedics are likely to negotiate settlement offers with the 7,800 additional plaintiffs also attached to the consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL).

If no compensation yardstick is established by the juries in each of the trials – or if there are both positive and negative verdicts returned –the remaining scheduled DePuy ASR hip replacement hearings will be referred back to the US District Courts in which they were originally filed – each to be heard individually and prolonging how long it will take for each plaintiff to receive a fair settlement of DePuy hip replacement injury compensation.