We are nearing the two year anniversary of the recall of the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABGII modular hip systems. Significant litigation involving these recalled hip systems is in progress across the country. As of April 2, 2014, there were over 950 cases pending in the New Jersey Stryker litigation. There are nearly 800 cases currently pending in the federal litigation in Minnesota.
The New Jersey cases were consolidated before a single judge, Judge Brian Martinotti, who conducts monthly hearings and has issued over dozens of orders. Judge Martinotti has set up a website where copies of his orders can be found:
Judge Martinotti has implemented a “bellwether mediation” program, through which certain categories of cases are picked to undergo mediation, to see if the parties can come to a settlement agreement. To date, eleven cases have been mediated, including one case in which the client was represented by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. All eleven cases have settled. There are another dozen or so cases that will be mediated in the next month or two, including another Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. client.
At the same time as mediations progress, there has been a press forward on the liability side of the case. Defendants have produced hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, which are being reviewed. Experts in various fields, including metallurgy and corrosion, have been retained.
Most recently, the leadership in the New Jersey litigation was able to convince Judge Martinotti to set bellwether trial dates, over Stryker’s objection. He has scheduled the first bellwether trial to begin in June 2015, with the second bellwether trial to follow in July. This schedule corresponds with the bellwether trial schedule set in the federal MDL litigation in Minnesota.
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