Following news last month of four Stryker hip lawsuit settlements in New Jersey state court, a judicial order from Dec. 16 in that same court has set a plan for sending 10 Stryker hip lawsuits to mediation, according to court documents. The Rottenstein Law Group LLP discusses why some lawsuits might go to mediation instead of trial.
By Jan. 10, the parties involved in a statewide consolidation of cases in New Jersey must submit 42 eligible cases for consideration for a second round of mediations, 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). Of those cases, 10 will be chosen for mediation. The first round of mediations saw resolutions for at least four cases.
“Mediation can be preferable to trial for both the litigants and the court system,” said Rochelle Rottenstein, principal of the Rottenstein Law Group LLP. “Mediation can bring about resolution of a lawsuit more quickly, which can save the litigants time and money, and reduce caseload congestion in the court system. On the other hand, mediation is not binding, so it takes a willingness of all involved to compromise in order for the process to succeed.”
Stryker announced in October that it planned to set aside as much as $1.1 billion for ABG II and Rejuvenate-related litigation, according to an Oct. 23 Wall Street Journal report.* Stryker agreed to settle the four New Jersey cases for an undisclosed sum, according to court documents.
There are more than 500 cases in the New Jersey consolidation called a “multicounty litigation.” The Stryker lawsuits involve two of the company’s metal-on-metal hip implant products, the Rejuvenate and the ABG II, both recalled in July 2012. Claims against Stryker range from metal poisoning to device failure, according to court documents. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about metal-on-metal hip implants that supports claimants’ allegations.
Stryker hip injury lawsuits are part of a larger problem with metal-on-metal hip implants. DePuy Orthopaedics recently agreed to a multibillion dollar settlement involving 8,000 ASR hip implant lawsuits in federal and state courts, according to a Nov. 27 Bloomberg article.