Metal-on-metal hip implants have been getting a lot of publicity, lately. Now, a few plaintiffs who have been injured because of defective Biomet metal-on-metal hip implants have requested that their cases be combined with others to form multidistrict litigation. Multidistrict litigation is best explained by comparing it to a class action lawsuit.
Multidistrict litigation, like a class action, is a bunch of cases combined together. In both situations, all discovery and court proceedings are combined for efficiency. Unlike a class action, though, the MDL has cases which are easily separated from the MDL–each case will have the opportunity to go to trial on its own (either as part of the federal MDL bellwether trials, or by being sent back to its home court). The MDL, if it is created, will combine every federal Biomet metal-on-metal hip implant case into one court before one judge. The plaintiffs have requested either New York or California. Wherever they go, the judge will conduct discovery and case management, and will then have the opportunity to encourage hip implant settlements. Judges wield a lot of influence in cases like this, and the odds of a hip implant settlement are high.
The defendants in the case will have the opportunity to oppose consolidation, or to request that if consolidation occurs, that the cases get sent to another jurisdiction. Likewise, other parties in other Biomet cases will have the opportunity to weigh in.
There are several manufacturers of defective metal-on-metal hip implants, including Johnson & Johnson (through DePuy), Biomet, Stryker, Zimmer and Smith & Nephew. Johnson & Johnson recently issued a voluntary recall on several of its metal-on-metal hip implant devices. These products can cause inflammation, pain, infection, blood poisoning (metallosis) and may require additional surgeries to remove the defective implants and replace them with safer implants.
If you believe that your metal hip implant is causing pain, inflammation, or will require a revision surgery, contact our product liability lawyers at 443.850.4426, or online for a free consultation. We can help you to determine if a metal hip implant is the cause of your injuries, and whether a lawsuit is the best course of action for you.