On Monday, a U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation assigned all DePuy Pinnacle hip implant recall lawsuits pending in federal courts nationwide to Judge James E. Kinkeade in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
The whole idea of the MDL process confuses victims? Are the DePuy claims a class action lawsuit?
The answer is the DePuy hip claims are “sort of” a class action lawsuit. The federal cases will be consolidated in Texas for what is called core discovery – interrogatories (written questions) to DePuy, depositions of key DePuy witnesses and experts on both sides, and other discovery procedures to determine the facts of these lawsuits. Typically, the MDL judge may preside over a few trials to help both sides better understand the value of the cases. If there is not a global “class action settlement” at that point, the cases are sent back to their home state for specific discovery and trial.
What is the settlement value of these DePuy hip implant cases? Anyone who answers this question definitively is not being entirely honest – at this point, no one really knows. But DePuy/Johnson & Johnson have set aside almost $1 billion to pay these claims and, ultimately, I don’t think will cover it. Many of these cases have trial values that are worth millions of dollars. So are high six and seven-figure DePuy settlements likely? I think so. But only time will tell.
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