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The Stryker hip implant recall has spurred litigation in New Jersey, Minnesota, and Florida. Because there are so many similar Stryker hip implant claims, the cases have been consolidated into Multi-District litigation proceedings (learn more about the Stryker MDL here) and have utilized bellwether trials to manage the discovery process for the claims.
On April 1, 2014 (Stryker.Pretrial.Order12), Judge Martinotti entered a case management order for the Stryker Rejuvenate & ABG II Modular Hip Implant Litigation in Bergen County, New Jersey. The order aims to resolve the Stryker Rejuvenate cases in a timely manner. In the order, Judge Martinotti stated that “parties will continue to confer in an attempt to resolve the remaining issues” in the case and seems to urge a resolution to these cases. Judge Martinotti also wrote that if parties do not reach a compromise by April 15, 2014, the parties will then need to advise the Court. The Court will hold a conference call to discuss the next steps in handling the case.
Multi-District Litigation and Mediation Used in Bergen County Stryker Hip Cases
The order also lists matters that will be handled by Phase II Mediation. These cases include Betty White v. HOC, Docket No. BER-L-2501-13, and Doris Smith v. HOC, Docket No. BER-L-3488-13. Mediation may promote judicial economy in resolving these exemplar cases and avoid clogging the courts with Stryker hip implant cases. In the order, the Court requests that counsel collaborate to submit a proposed agenda on May 22, 2014.
In general, it seems that the Bergen County Stryker hip cases are setting the stage and leading the way for how other Stryker hip implant cases in other jurisdictions should be handled. Other jurisdictions, such as Florida, may take a cue from Judge Martinotti’s Order and move forward to try to resolve the cases with mediation and bellwether trials if necessary.
Impact of the Recent Decision on Pending Florida Cases
Currently, thirteen Stryker hip implant cases have been consolidated into MDL proceedings. The MDL consolidation in Florida seems to follow the consolidation being used in New Jersey and Minnesota. In fact, Judge Donovan W. Frank has issued orders creating a Steering Committee for handling the plaintiffs’ claims. A Florida attorney, Joseph A. Osborne, has been appointed to serve in a leadership position on the committee.
Could Florida Stryker Cases Go to Trial Soon?
Judge Garcia-Wood of Florida’s 17th Circuit is in charge of overseeing the Stryker hip implant cases in the state. She will be using pretrial centralization to handle the hundreds of Stryker hip implant claims. If the Florida cases mirror those of Minnesota or New Jersey, then several claims may be used to exemplify the typical injuries of plaintiffs. In Minnesota, bellwether trials are being used to arrive at decisions that impact those who received Stryker hip implants and have experienced pain, metallosis and additional complications resulting in hip revision surgery. The outcome of these trials will determine how other cases are handled. If you have suffered from severe pain, metal poisoning or have required hip revision surgery, you should realize that you may have a legal claim that can be joined with the current MDL proceedings in New Jersey or Florida.
Can You Still Take Legal Action If You Have a Recalled Stryker Hip?
There is still time for New Jersey plaintiffs to file claims alleging a strict products liability action against Stryker. In Judge Martinotti’s recent order, he is allowing new complaints to be served within 30 days of receipt of a filed copy from the court. Plaintiffs who have been harmed by defective Stryker hip implants can still become part of the Multi-District Litigation proceedings. Now may be the time for plaintiffs to become part of this litigation so that they do not miss the opportunity to receive compensation for their claims. It may be nearly impossible or difficult for plaintiffs to assert their Stryker hip implant claims in the future and after the conclusion of the MDL proceedings.
The Bergen County bellwether trials are scheduled to take place between June 15, 2015, and July 13, 2015. Plaintiffs should get in touch with a Stryker hip implant lawyer if they are interested in becoming part of the MDL proceedings.
The Florida Stryker hip implant cases will likely conclude in a similar manner as other MDL proceedings throughout the country. Those who have suffered as a result of defective Stryker hip implants should not wait any longer to speak with a lawyer to become part of MDL proceedings in Florida or New Jersey.
For news about the status of Stryker cases in the Minnesota MDL look here.