The 5th District court in Texas recently denied a defense motion for an expedited appeal and a postponement in the pending bellwether trial scheduled for September 2016.
Johnson & Johnson and DePuy Orthopedics, Inc, defendants in the hip replacement lawsuits sought to appeal an earlier $498 million verdict regarding their Pinnacle hip devices which have failed and are the subject of numerous defective product lawsuits across the country.
According to the National Law Review, “The hip socket prosthetics in question are cited as causing a toxic metal poisoning, metallosis, caused when flecks of metal enter the bloodstream or become embedded in tissue. The plaintiffs also claim the implants caused localized tissue inflammation and bone damage. The high number of plaintiffs in this matter resulted in an MDL (multidistrict litigation) consolidation centered in Texas with more than 8,000 cases from injuries related to the metal, ceramic, and polyethylene lining Pinnacle implants.”
The appeal denial means that the next scheduled trial concerning Pinnacle hips will go forward as scheduled in September.
The previous bellwether trial found that the artificial hip devices sold by J&J’s DePuy unit under the Pinnacle brand name were indeed defective and that the defendant companies knew about the defects as well as the dangers posed to patients and sold the products anyway. The trial also demonstrated that the DePuy had neglected to disclose these dangers to physicians who implanted the defective hips into their patients.
Multidistrict litigation has been employed in a number of defective medical device cases such as hip replacement devices and bad drugs in order for discovery materials to be presented in a uniform and consistent fashion when there are massive numbers of consumers injured by bad drugs or defective medical devices.