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How are cases selected for DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether trials?

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Hi, this is Stuart Talley. I’m the attorney responsible for the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip cases. The reason I’m doing this video today is a result of phone calls we’ve received from people asking about the upcoming bellwether trials occurring in September this year. As you may know, there are seven cases that were selected to go to trial. Several months ago we had a verdict on five cases.

People are asking, “How are these cases selected for trial?” It is a complicated process. Typically, what will happen is that the judge will tell the parties to sit down and come up with a group of cases for trial. Normally, the plaintiffs group will select cases and the defendants will select cases. As a strategy, the defense will try and pick complicated cases that are difficult to prove. The plaintiffs want cases that are easy to prove, where there are not a lot of complications or difficulty proving that the hip caused damage. The court wants “representative cases”, run-of-the-mill cases. The idea is that if you get verdicts in several run-of-the-mill cases then the parties should be able to sit down and figure out what all of the other cases should settle for.  So, that’s how the process works.

The cases selected by the plaintiffs were vetted extensively. You want plaintiffs that are likeable, that have doctors who are not on DePuy’s payroll, and you want plaintiffs with damages that are similar (representative) to the damages other plaintiffs are experiencing. This is how cases are generally picked. Many of our clients have asked, “How do I get my case set for trial?” It is very difficult to find one case and say I’m going to push this one to the front of the line because there are about 7,000-8,000 people in that line. It’s not an easy process.

We need to get verdicts in these bellwether cases. Hopefully after we get enough verdicts, the defendants will eventually come around and agree to a global settlement program for everyone.

If you have a DePuy Pinnacle, and have any questions, feel free to call us or submit an online form. We are happy to answer questions about the litigation and upcoming trial.

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