The litigation concerning revision surgeries and metal poisoning following certain hip replacement devices continues to grow. Other manufacturers' products are being called into question and the presiding judge of the federal MDL (No. 2197) has scheduled the first bellwether trials in the DePuy case for May and July of 2013.
These trials will be an important step in moving these cases toward resolution.
Bellwether trials are used by both sides in mass tort litigation to gauge the success of future trials. Obviously, the party that prevails more often in the bellwether cases will have a stronger negotiating position at the settlement table. For example, the Vioxx litigation provides some guidance into these cases. In the Vioxx litigation, the parties conducted six federal trials and 13 in state courts around the country. The plaintiff was successful in only 1 of the 6 federal trials. The state court verdicts were more evenly split between the parties. However, the verdicts for the plaintiffs tended to be large. As a result, after these cases were concluded, the parties were able to reach a global settlement of $4.85 billion for qualifying cases. While the Vioxx litigation is just one example, it illustrates the importance of these cases.
The hip replacement device litigation continues to evolve. You can follow its progression on our website's new page concerning these medical devices.
Mike Sudekum is personal injury attorney in St. Louis, Missouri. You may contact him here.