First MDL DePuy Hip Implant Case to be Heard in May

The first Multi District Litigation DePuy hip implant case – which will establish a benchmark of how much compensation for a faulty DePuy hip implant many thousands of plaintiffs should be entitled to receive – is set to be heard in May.

Judge David A. Katz announced that the “Bellwether” trial of Faye Dorney-Madgitz v DePuy Orthopedics (MDL2197) will be heard in May at the Ohio Northern District Court in Cleveland, with a secondary case – Ann McCracken v DePuy Orthopedics – to start in July 2013 should the Dorney-Madgitz DePuy hip implant case be settled before it goes to trial.

The setting of a date is expected to accelerate DePuy Orthopedics´ attempts to negotiate a settlement with plaintiffs in the Multi District Litigation (MDL), after the company successfully settled three ASR hip replacement claims in Nevada for around $200,000 each. If the “Bellwether” Dorney-Madgitz v DePuy hip implant case proceeds to court, future settlements of compensation for faulty DePuy hip replacements could be influenced by the verdict of a jury.

The only possible advantage of DePuy Orthopedics proceeding to court is that, should the jury in Cleveland establish a low benchmark in the settlement of DePuy hip implant claims, the company would save hundreds of millions of dollars in future settlements. Whether or not this is a risk that DePuy Orthopedics are willing to take prior to their May court date remains to be seen.

DePuy Orthopedics recently settled a class-action suit in Australia for their recalled LCS Duofix Femoral knee implant which is expected to have cost the company more than AU$10 million and it has been estimated by Professor Eric Gordon, a pharmaceutical industry expert from the University of Michigan, that the total cost of settling the 6,000 outstanding DePuy MDL cases could exceed $2 billion.