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DePuy Case Consolidation
Complaints regarding DePuy Orthopaedic’s faulty ASR model artificial hip implants have not been limited to a single state. Instead the complaints have arisen in states throughout the country, prompting a hearing to decide whether to consolidate those cases and create DePuy Multidistrict Litigation (MDL 2197). When the Plaintiffs filed petitions in the MDL 2197, the Defendants did not object to the creation and implementation of the case consolidation program. The places currently under consideration for MDL 2197 include New Jersey, Ohio and Illinois. A hearing was scheduled by the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The panel was created by an Act of Congress, 28 U.S.C. Section 1407. It consists of seven sitting federal judges who are appointed to serve by the Chief Justice of the United States.

The MDL Panel
The MDL Panel’s job is: “to determine whether civil actions pending in different federal districts involve one or more common questions of fact such that actions should be transferred to one federal district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings; and select the judge or judges and court assigned to conduct such proceedings.”

The goal of the process is to avoid duplication of discovery and the danger of inconsistent pretrial rulings. Conserving resources is always a key consideration for parties, attorneys and the judiciary. Consolidating the cases makes conservation a reality.

The costs of litigation can be a large obstacle for those wishing to bring personal injury claims. Those costs can even be prohibitive. Case consolidation however, can make that litigation a realistic possibility for individual claimants that might not otherwise be able to afford to take on the responsible parties. The DePuy MDL 2197, which is very likely to be created, gives patients who have been harmed a vehicle to receive compensation from DePuy for its defective ASR device. Patients have been harmed nationwide and with the creation of MDL 2197, they would have a more efficient way to pursue their claims.

Stay tuned for updates on what the MDL Panel decides to do in the days ahead.

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