As the year closes, the Rottenstein Law Group LLP comments on the status of Stryker hip recall lawsuits in both federal and state courts, and offers its insight into the year ahead.
There are about 400 Stryker lawsuits pending in a consolidation of cases in U.S. District Court in Minnesota called a “multidistrict litigation” and more than 500 in a New Jersey consolidation called a “multicounty litigation.”
In both instances, the lawsuits of common cause for suit were consolidated for efficiency in pretrial proceedings. In the MDL there is one final status conference on Dec. 19, according to court documents (In re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation; MDL-2441, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota). In the New Jersey MCL, there was recently a status conference on Dec. 16, according to court documents (In re: Stryker Rejuvenate Hip Stem and the ABG II Modular Hip Stem Litigation; MCL-296, Bergen County Superior Court, New Jersey).
“Status conferences are important components of the pretrial process in case consolidations in both state and federal courts alike,” said Rochelle Rottenstein, principal of the Rottenstein Law Group LLP. “In anticipation of bellwether trials to be held in 2014, the courts need to hold regular status conferences during the pretrial proceedings to keep the cases on track.”
The Stryker lawsuits involve two of the company’s metal-on-metal hip implant products, the Rejuvenate and the ABG II, both recalled in 2012. Claims against Stryker range from metal poisoning to device failure, according to court documents (In re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation; MDL-2441, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about metal-on-metal hip implants that supports claimants’ allegations.
The news follows Stryker’s announcement that it will set aside between $700 million and more than $1 billion for metal-on-metal hip-related litigation, according to an Oct. 23 Wall Street Journal report.
Stryker hip injury claims are part of a larger problem with metal-on-metal hip implants, Rottenstein said.
“Stryker is not the only hip implant company to set aside funds for litigation costs, of course,” she said. “DePuy recently agreed to a multibillion dollar settlement involving 8,000 ASR hip implant lawsuits in federal and state court.”