All federal lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson over the recalled DePuy ASR hip implants will be transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Toledo) and consolidated into an MDL, or multi-district litigation. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation decided last week that Judge David A. Katz will oversee the evidence-gathering and other pretrial proceedings in federal cases already filed in district courts across the country, and those filed in the future. It is likely that thousands of people injured by the DePuy ASR implants will soon file lawsuits to recover for their injuries.
The Choice Between State and Federal Court
Individuals who were injured by the recalled DePuy ASR hip implants can choose to file a lawsuit in federal court, or in a state court where Johnson & Johnson, DePuy and/or the people responsible for designing the recalled implants reside. Cases filed in federal court will be transferred into the MDL in Ohio. Judge Katz will manage the evidence-gathering process, which could take many months or even years. The judge may choose some individual cases to go forward with trial (bellwether trials). If the federal cases do not settle after the pre-trial process or any bellwether trials, each individual case will be transferred back to the federal court where it was filed and will likely be set for trial.
People who choose to file their lawsuits in state court will either go forward with their state law claims as individual cases, or they may join a consolidated state action with other plaintiffs who have similar claims and injuries.
Slack Davis Sanger helped numerous individuals recover for their hip replacement injuries when Sulzer Orthopedics recalled its defective products. Our legal team currently is advising DePuy ASR hip implant clients – helping them navigate the difficult legal process and decide where to file their cases. Contact our attorneys for more information.