Rayna Kessler Appointed Liaison Counsel in Exactech Multi-District Litigation

January 2023

Robins Kaplan LLP is pleased to announce that on December 12, 2022, New York partner Rayna Kessler was appointed liaison counsel in the multi-district litigation In re: Exactech Polyethylene Orthopedic Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 3044, 1:22-md-03044-MMH. The MDL was recently formed by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and involves hip, knee, and ankle replacement devices manufactured by Exactech, and was assigned to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, U.S.D.J., of the Eastern District of New York.

In her leadership position, Rayna is responsible for working closely with the Plaintiff Executive Committee, communicating with the Court and other counsel to ensure local and MDL procedures are followed, advise parties of important developments in the MDL, and serve as a resource to other plaintiff attorneys who may file claims within the MDL.

To date, Exactech has recalled approximately 150,000 hip, knee, and ankle replacement devices. The recall first became public in February 2022 when Exactech issued an Urgent Medical Device Correction Notice informing surgeons that most knee inserts manufactured from 2004 to 2022, as well as total ankle replacement devices manufactured from 2017 to 2022, were packaged in non-conforming bags. The defective bags did not contain a secondary barrier layer of ethylene vinyl alcohol to reinforce the device’s resistance to oxygen, which can cause inserts to wear out prematurely or become damaged after implantation. On August 11, 2022, Exactech expanded its recall to include total hip replacement devices manufactured from 2004 to 2021.

Because of these defects, some patients have experienced tissue damage, bone loss/osteolysis, instability, painful inflammation, and other injuries, leading to complex revision surgeries and extensive recovery time. Robins Kaplan is advocating for patients who have received Exactech hip, knee, and ankle devices to be made aware of how the recall may affect them, and represent a number of plaintiffs who are injured by these products in the MDL.

“I look forward to working with the Court and the parties to progress our MDL forward as efficiently as possible,” Kessler said. “We have a wonderful group of attorneys appointed to leadership positions with a vast amount of experience with medical device litigation. It is an honor to serve as a resource for this team, including to assist with New York local rules and procedure.”

Rayna Kessler is a partner in the firm’s New York office. Her practice focuses on complex civil and multivenue litigation in a range of matters that span products liability, medical malpractice, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices, as well as child sex abuse involving large institutions. 

“Rayna is a skilled attorney who is dedicated to helping our clients and ensuring that the MDL progresses effectively,” said Tara Sutton, Chair of the National Mass Tort Group of Robins Kaplan. “I’m confident that she will be a great asset for the management of the MDL and assisting counsel with their Exactech claims.”

We are aware of Exactech recalled products being implanted in patients at the following hospitals:

  • St. Cloud Orthopedics – St. Cloud, MN
  • Tria Orthopedic Center – Bloomington and Burnsville, MN
  • Center for Specialty Care – Fairmont, MN
  • Stanford Hospital – Santa Clara, CA
  • Hospital for Special Surgery – New York, NY
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital – New York, NY
  • Hudson Regional Hospital – Secaucus, NY
  • St. Michael’s Medical Center – Newark, NJ

Robins Kaplan continues to evaluate and accept claims related to Exactech hip, knee, and ankle products. If you have a potential client who is impacted by the recall, please contact Rayna Kessler at 212.980.7431 or RKessler@RobinsKaplan.com.

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