On February 4th, the first of several products liability suits against DePuy and DCMedical were filed. As we discussed in an early article on the blog, most of the cases are vulnerable to removal to Federal Court because there is a rule which says if the Defendant is not from the State where the lawsuit is brought and it is a big case, the Defendant has the right to move the case out of the local level Courts and into Federal Court. This is an advantage for DePuy because once the case is in Federal Court, it is subject to certain rules regarding Multi District Litigation.
That means that one Court, in Ohio for DePuy defective hip implant claims, has control over the discovery process. With 185 lawsuits pending nationally already, this can create a logjam lasting several years.
In the State Courts of Georgia, the Plaintiff has a more even playing field in that the case can be pushed to trial typically within one year. Given the track record of a lack of testing, over 400 complaints of device failures, and withdrawal from the US and Australian markets, it is likely that if the evidence gets to a jury they will respond with disgust.
There are now four cases proceeding in Georgia for patients that received the DePuy hip implants and hip implant lawyers are actively interviewing new clients.