A DePuy ASR Multi-district case management conference was held on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at the U.S. District courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio. The conference was held before the Honorable David Katz, the judge overseeing the federal multidistrict litigation against DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson regarding the recalled DePuy Orthopaedics ASR hip replacement devices.
An overview of the current status of the litigation was presented at the conference. As of the date of the hearing, 44 million pages of documents have been produced by Defendants. The depositions of 24 witnesses have been taken with 11 more witnesses to be deposed between now and early November 2012. The selection and deadlines for the MDL Bellwether trial process were also addressed at length.
On July 26, 2012, the Court issued Case Management Order #14, detailing the Bellwether trial process for the DePuy ASR MDL litigation. A Bellwether case is a case selected from the cases pending in the MDL which is scheduled for trial. Counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendants will each select four cases for consideration as bellwether trial candidates. These proposed cases must be submitted to the Court by August 8, 2012. Judge Katz has instructed that only cases involving a revision surgery will be considered. Furthermore, no bilateral revision cases will be selected as bellwether cases.
Counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendants will have until November 1, 2012 to carry out the discovery process for the proposed bellwether trial candidates. By December 1, 2012, Counsel shall designate which of the eight proposed bellwether cases will be chosen as trial candidates. If Counsel does not reach an agreement, the Court will choose the cases to be tried by December 15, 2012.
A primary case and a backup case will be set to begin on May 6, 2013. A subsequent primary case and back up case will be set to commence on July 8, 2013. Counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendants will have until April 15, 2013 to carry out all discovery for the May 6, 2013 bellwether trial. Counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendants will have until June 1, 2013 to carry out all discovery for the July 8, 2013 bellwether trial.
On August 10, 2012, the Court issued an Order indicating that the next status conference for the DePuy ASR MDL litigation is scheduled on October 3, 2012 in Toledo, Ohio.