The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued an order on October 2, 2012 transferring eight product liability cases involving the Biomet M2a metal-on-metal hip replacement system for consolidated proceedings. The consolidated pretrial proceedings will be assigned to the Honorable Robert L. Miller, Jr. in the Northern District of Indiana. The panel cited the Northern District of Indiana’s central location, favorable docket conditions and Biomet’s nearby corporate headquarters as reasons for choosing the district. There are currently an additional 57 potentially related lawsuits involving Biomet M2a devices pending in federal district courts.
In its decision, the panel stated, “We find that these actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation. The actions share factual questions concerning design, manufacture, marketing and performance of Biomet’s M2a Magnum system.” The panel found that, “Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings on discovery and other issues, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.”
The creation of the Biomet MDL marks the fifth MDL created for metal-on-metal hip implant devices. There are currently MDLs pending for the DePuy ASR, DePuy Pinnacle, Zimmer Durom and Wright Conserve. Plaintiffs in New Jersey, Arizona, Florida and Minnesota have filed a motion seeking the creation of a sixth hip implant MDL for litigation involving the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hips. Stryker Orthopaedics, Inc. recalled its Rejuvenate Modular and ABG II modular-neck hip stems on July 6, 2012 due to fretting and corrosion at the modular-neck junction. Click Here for additional information about the Biomet M2a hip replacement system.