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Further Delays to DePuy Hip Replacement Court Case

Further delays to the DePuy hip replacement court case in Ohio have been caused by a late substitute of plaintiff and the judge ruling that the worldwide recall of faulty DePuy hip replacement systems cannot be used as evidence in court.

The start of the first Federal DePuy hip replacement court case was delayed last week after U.S. District Judge David A. Katz allowed the parties in McCracken -v- DePuy (Case No 1:11 dp 20485) more time for discovery and to deal with other legal matters.

The DePuy hip replacement court case has now been rescheduled to September 24th and will concern the injury sustained by Ann McCracken (57) from Rochester in New York, who suffered a dislocated hip allegedly due to metal particles from her DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement System causing the soft tissues around her hip to decay.

Ann had her DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip replacement system implanted in August 2009, but it had to be removed in January 2011 after she had sustained her injury. In October 2011, Ann had to undergo a further operation to insert a device to restrict the movement of her hip, which has reduced her range of mobility and will result in her current hip replacement system wearing out sooner than normal – resulting in more surgery in the future.

Judge Katz has already agreed that the recall of the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Articular Surface Hip Replacement Systems should not be mentioned in court – not only because he wants the DePuy hip replacement court case to be heard on the merits of the individual action, but DePuy´s lawyers argued successfully that any reference to the DePuy recall at trial might deter other companies from voluntarily withdrawing potentially harmful medical devices because of the legal implications.

One of the purposes of Ann´s DePuy hip replacement court case is to establish the relative strengths and weaknesses of the plaintiffs´ claims and DePuy´s defence. If Ann´s case, and others included in the `Bellwether’ trials still to be scheduled, results in a “standard” of compensation settlements, DePuy Orthopaedics Inc are likely to make offers of injury compensation to the 7,800 plaintiffs also attached to this DePuy hip replacement court case through a consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL).

If no compensation standard is set by the juries in each of the trials – or if there is a mixture of positive and negative verdicts returned – all of the outstanding DePuy hip replacement court cases will be returned to the US District Courts in which they were filed – prolonging the length of time it will take for each plaintiff to receive a fair settlement of DePuy injury compensation.

This latter scenario would also have an impact on plaintiffs in Ireland waiting to hear if they will be made an acceptable offer of DePuy injury compensation, or whether they will have to endure their own DePuy hip replacement court case.