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M. Brandon Smith
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Stryker Hip MDL Bellwether Cases Set For Trial

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When it comes to lawsuits stemming from design and manufacturing defects related to the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hips, the majority of them are consolidated into a Multi District Litigation format (MDL) in the United States District Court of Minnesota. The Stryker MDL was established last year and the cases are set before Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel and District Judge Donovan W. Frank.

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On March 12, 2014, the Court met with Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel Committee and Defense Counsel to prepare a schedule for the Court to hear a number of ‘bellwether’ cases in the summer of 2015 involving a representative sampling of plaintiffs from the MDL. The individual plaintiffs to be involved in the Stryker bellwether trials, have yet to be determined.

If a reasonable number of bellwether cases cannot be agreed upon by April 1, 2014, parties are to submit a proposal as to how many categories they believe are necessary. If there is disagreement as to the number of bellwether cases necessary, the Court shall make a determination. In advance of the May 1, 2014 status conference, counsel shall meet and determine three cases that shall be designated ‘lead’ cases within each category. If unable to agree as to which cases should be part of the specifically devised bellwether groups, the Court will make a determination.

At an appropriate time, Magistrate Judge Noel will reach out to the judges overseeing pending Stryker lawsuits in New Jersey and Florida to “explore ways in which the three courts might facilitate a coordinated settlement of all the state and federal cases in which the plaintiffs allege they suffered injury from dual modular hip replacement prostheses sold under the names Rejuvenate and ABG II.”

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A series of deadlines may not seem like anything to get excited about; however, the most recent MDL orders are actually very encouraging as they demonstrate that the Court is willing to push these cases forward for the thousands of victims who are suffering from these defective devices. While a series of bellwether cases set for trial more than a year out seems like a long time away, setting these trial dates is crucial towards moving the litigation forward and ultimately towards resolution.

If you’ve been hesitant to get an attorney or get involved with the pending Stryker litigations, you still have time. After confirming that you indeed have a recalled Rejuvenate or ABG II device,  once of our Stryker hip implant lawyers  can advise you of your rights and help you file a pending claim before your statute of limitations runs out.