With DePuy ASR hip implant recall lawsuits well underway, the discovery step of litigation enters another stage following a judicial order approving what’s called “Plaintiff Fact Sheets.”
On August 26, 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, announced the recall of its metal-on-metal hip implants known the ASR XL and ASR Hip Resurfacing systems, estimated to affect some 93,000 device components sold. Now, more than one year following the recall fall-out, Plaintiffs will be called on to supply information and answer questions discussing the intricacies of their claim.
The majority of DePuy ASR hip implant lawsuits have been consolidated in coordinated proceedings, where one court and one judge will oversee all pretrial aspects of litigation in that system. Presently, consolidated proceedings have been established in federal court in the Northern District of Ohio, and in two state court systems, the Superior Court of San Francisco, California and Bergen County, New Jersey Superior Court.
On September 26, 2011, Federal District Judge David A. Katz for the Northern District of Ohio approved Plaintiff Fact Sheets created mutually by both parties. Plaintiffs who have lawsuits pending in the Ohio federal court system are required to submit responses to the Plaintiff Fact Sheet, providing both basic information as well as specific information about the nature of their injuries and damages. Plaintiffs are required to submit the fact sheet within 90 days of the September 26, 2011 Order if a revision surgery has already occurred, or within 120 days of any future revision surgeries. Additionally, a September 2011 status conference in the California and New Jersey state court proceedings confirmed that those courts will shortly order the completion of virtually identical Plaintiff Fact Sheets for plaintiffs with claims pending in those jurisdictions.
Although much of the information sought in the Plaintiff Fact Sheets may seem unrelated or overly broad, the responses are a key element for providing information pertaining to each individual Plaintiffs’ specific injuries and damages. This information ultimately assists in figuring compensation for medical costs, lost wages, future surgeries, pain and suffering, and other injuries and damages suffered.
Although only Plaintiffs with revision surgeries are currently required to submit completed Plaintiff Facts Sheets, data from the United Kingdom suggests as many 1 in 2 patients implanted with a DePuy ASR hip will need to have revision surgery within 6 years of the original implantation.