The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation today ordered “coordinated or consolidated” pretrial proceedings for cases filed in federal courts regarding the DePuy Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System. The Panel assigned the cases to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas before Judge James E. Kinkeade.
The Panel ordered centralization under 28 U.S.C. § 1407, holding as follows:
“On the basis of the papers filed and the hearing session held, we find that these three actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization under Section 1407 will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation. The actions share factual questions as to whether DePuy’s Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System, a device used in hip replacement surgery, was defectively designed and/or manufactured, and whether defendants failed to provide adequate warnings concerning the device. Centralization under Section 1407 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 Panel declined to limit the consolidation to only DePuy Pinnacle metal on metal systems. The Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System has three liner options, including Ultamet (metal), Marathon (polyethylene) and AltrX (ceramic).
The Panel concluded that the Northern District of Texas is an appropriate transferee district, noting that “the cases involve a medical device that was marketed and sold throughout the nation” and that “[t]he Northern District of Texas represents a geographically central and accessible district that enjoys favorable docket conditions.”
Judge James E. Kinkeade was appointed as a United States District Judge in 2002. He is a 1974 graduate of Baylor Law School. Prior to being appointed to the Northern District he served as a Justice on the Texas Court of Appeals, Fifth District from 1988 to 2002.