In answering the questions, “How many DePuy ASR cases are currently pending against the JNJ subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics?” and “When and where are the next DePuy Bellwether trials?”, you have to look to the court dockets in California, Illinois, New Jersey and consolidated actions in federal court in MDL 2197. (Though there are several other cases pending in state court proceedings in other states, the number of these cases are few due to the jurisdictional requirements regarding who can bring the suit and where it can be filed. Some cases have multiple plaintiffs added in the single action.)
According to the most recent count of the docket of the DePuy ASR litigation, and based on a review of Court Orders for trial, the latest information of court filings are as follows:
2,200 cases JCCP before Judge Kramer in consolidated action 10-004649. (Filing February 5, 2013)
“Bellwether trials” to commence in June, 2013 in San Francisco and September, 2013 in Los Angeles. The Kransky case that started on January 22nd is expected to take 3 to 5 weeks. Additional preference motions are pending for non-Bellwether trials, but the Court has yet to rule. (Continue reading to learn more about a “Bellwether trial” and what it means.)
308 cases before Judge Dooling in consolidated action 10- L -10506. (Status report January 28, 2013)
Strum vs. DePuy et al originally scheduled for February 25, 2013 moved to commence March 4, 2013; Schlecker vs Depuy et al May 28, 2013; Cerney v. DePuy et al August 19 2013; Pick vs DePuy et al September 25, 2013; Weber vs DePuy et al October 28, 2013; Larson vs DePuy et al November 19 , 2013; Wheeler v. DePuy et al December 9, 2013; Sherwood vs DePuy et al January 7, 2014.
637 cases before Judge Martinotti in consolidated action Case No. 293. (Case list as of Jan. 4, 2013)
Bellwether trials set for September 9, 2013 and October 21, 2013. (Designated cases to be selected from 6 cases on, or, before February 15, 2013) Case management conference scheduled for February 27, 2013
Federal Cases: MDL 2197
7,398 cases before Judge Katz in the consolidated Multi District Litigation in Federal Ccourt MDL 2197. (Filings as of February 13, 2013)
Bellwether Trials Dorney–Madgitz vs. DePuy et al May 6, 2013; Mckracken vs. DePuy et al July 8, 2013
In multi-party consolidated actions, efficiency is sought to promote the handling of common questions of both law and facts that are present for the consolidated litigation. In the above consolidated proceedings, the state proceedings, though separate, are coordinated and intertwined with one another. However, the possible danger of consolidation is that it can limit a plaintiff’s access to court by delaying a plaintiff’s access to trial. The use of the Bellwether selection process in choosing a few cases for trial that are representative of the average case is thought to be an effective tool of the consolidated actions to bring the parties closer together to discuss settlement of claims that are common to one another. This trade-off in consolidating cases can work as a substantial delay to the courtroom if the Bellwether process does not result in settlement discussions that are meaningful. Fortunately for Plaintiffs and for the litigation system, in the event cases are not resolved through the settlement process, it is believed that the courts will remand cases to trial judges. If that were to happen, it is sure to make for a very busy 2014 and beyond.
Currently the first DePuy ASR trial underway is the Loren Kransky vs. DePuy et al BC45086. It is a trial with a 12 member jury. The case is not a Bellwether case, but rather an expedited trial based on the Plaintiff’s health. The first Bellwether case is scheduled to start in Illinois on March 4, 2013.
By the time of the conclusion of these trials, in our estimation there will be more than 11,000 cases pending as more victims of this defective device continue to learn of the risks and are better educated as to the symptoms that may still be undiagnosed.
If you have questions or just want to become more informed, contact us today. The lawyers at Childers, Schlueter and Smith, LLC are available to answer your questions and explain your legal options.