By Emily Cox
A judicial panel has ordered that all U.S. Stryker LFit V40 hip replacement lawsuits be brought before
one judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
The Stryker LFit V40 is a metal femoral head implant. Surgeons used it in combination with several different types of Stryker hip replacement systems. However, Stryker issued a recall last year for certain sizes and lots of the femoral head due to the growing number of individuals reporting taper lock failure with the metal head, requiring additional painful surgery.
A group of LFit V40 hip replacement plaintiffs filed a request for centralized litigation in January. The motion asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to transfer all LFit V40 cases to one judge for pretrial proceedings. These coordinated proceedings help prevent duplicate discovery and conflicting pretrial orders. According the JPML, this serves judicial efficiency, saving all parties time and money.
LFit V40 Hip Replacement Lawsuits Multi-District Litigation (MDL)
The JPML issued the transfer order April 5, following oral arguments March 30. While all parties supported centralization, they differed on the location of the consolidation. The order calls for all LFit V40 hip replacement cases to go before a judge in the District of Massachusetts.
“After considering the argument of counsel, we find that the actions in this litigation involve common questions of fact, and that centralization in the District of Massachusetts will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation,” the JPML ruled. “While any number of the parties’ proposed transferee districts would be suitable, we are persuaded that the District of Massachusetts is the appropriate transferee district for this litigation. Five LFIT V40 cases in the District of Massachusetts are pending before Judge Indira Talwani, who has not yet had an opportunity to preside over an MDL docket.”
There are currently six LFit V40 lawsuits pending in three different districts. However, the panel noted 27 additional possible cases.
The JPML established similar centralized proceedings after the 2012 Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II voluntary recall. These centralized proceeding resulted in thousands of lawsuits.
Following coordinated discovery in that MDL, Stryker agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle the hip replacement lawsuits. This settlement was to resolve cases where individuals required revision surgery when the recalled implant failed.