Hi, Stuart Talley here to provide an update on the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip litigation. We had a significant development yesterday. The Judge issued an order setting a trial date for the next round of trials. Specifically, he entered an order that the next group of trials is going to occur on September 6, 2016. It’s going to be seven individual plaintiffs and their claims are going to be decided in one trial.
All of these plaintiffs reside in California. So, California law is going to apply in the case. The last case that went to trial, where we had a verdict a few months ago, all of those individuals were Texas residents. So, Texas law applied. The big difference between California law and Texas law has to do with punitive damages, intended to punish the defendant to deter bad conduct. In Texas, punitive damages are capped at a certain amount and there is a formula to cap them. The $380 million punitive damages are probably going to be substantially reduced from the Texas trial. California law has no caps and there is an unlimited amount of punitive damages that a jury could award. The only limit would be the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.
This is going to be a different case. The law is going to be slightly different but the big matter is that there are not going to be any caps in this case. The fact that this trial is going forward on September 6 came as a surprise to a lot of us. Many times judges will say that they want a trial date but then for various reasons it gets pushed off, sometimes for over a year or more. I don’t get the impression this judge is going to push the trial date off. It is going to happen on September 6 and there will be seven plaintiffs.
Of other significance, the Judge has not ruled on the post-trial motions that were filed by DePuy. After the last trial, DePuy filed motions to overturn the verdict to reduce the award of the jurors. They also filed motions for new trial. This judge has not ruled on any of these motions yet he still set a date for the next trial. This is a good indication that he will not undo anything that happened in the previous trial.
Stay tuned. There will be a lot of pre-trial motions that will be filed, no doubt by DePuy to try and get various claims dismissed. We will provide an update when we get the motions and we expect that this trial will go forward on September 6 as planned. We will continue providing updates once this new trial begins.
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