In just a few weeks, the first bellwether DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits will get underway in the Northern District of Texas (In re: DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2244), according to a pretrial report issued for the federal DePuy Pinnacle litigation on July 29, 2014. As the weeks before these first DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits wind down, the litigants in these cases are working on finishing up the final issues of discovery.
In fact, the presiding judge – Judge Ed Kinkeade – and attorneys for both the plaintiffs and defendants are planning to convene on August 18, 2014 for what should be the final meeting prior to the start of these bellwether DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits. In this meeting, the remaining pretrial issues that are still unresolved will reportedly be settled.
Why Are the Bellwether DePuy Pinnacle Lawsuits Important?
Bellwether cases – like the DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits that will soon get underway – are particularly important to multidistrict litigation (MDL) for a number of different reasons. In fact, because these cases are typically chosen due to the fact that they tend to be representative of the other cases involved in an MDL (both in the nature of the alleged injuries people suffered after using a defective device and in the specific allegations made against the manufacturer of that device), they are typically critical “test cases.”
What this ends up meaning is that bellwether cases can provide important insights as to how:
- A jury (or a judge) will respond to certain evidence or facts of a case.
- A jury will ultimately rule and hand down a verdict (namely, in whether the jury will rule in favor of the plaintiff(s) or defendant(s) in a bellwether case).
- Punitive damages may or may not be awarded.
In the event that the rulings in the upcoming bellwether DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits end up favoring the plaintiffs, the chances that DePuy will offer a settlement to try to resolve the more than 6,400 lawsuits that are part of this MDL prior to trial will increase substantially.
In fact, if the jury ends up awarding the plaintiffs in the bellwether DePuy Pinnacle lawsuits punitive damages, it will be that much more likely that DePuy will try to settle as many of the pending cases as possible (to limit the possibility of additional punitive damages being awarded in future cases).
Product Liability & Hip Replacement Lawyer George McLaughlin: Experience You CAN Trust
George McLaughlin, a partner of the Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group, P.C., has more than thirty years of experience handling product liability claims at the national level. His focus on modular neck fracture cases makes him the go-to attorney in the United States for these claims. The unique circumstances surrounding this product make it difficult and extremely expensive to the client, for an attorney who has not done many of these cases before to successfully handle a modular neck fracture cases.
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