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June 2014: Stryker Hip Recall Litigation Update

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Hi, I’m Stuart Talley with Kershaw|Talley. Bill Kershaw and I are the partners responsible for providing a status update on the Stryker Rejuvenate and Stryker ABG II litigation case. 

On June 24, 2014, attorneys from Kershaw|Talley appeared at a status conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The majority of the Stryker Rejuvenate cases are pending in Minnesota and Judge Donovan Frank is responsible for managing these cases.   At the status conference, it was reported that substantial progress was made towards getting cases ready for trial in July 2015. Judge Frank addressed several issues at the status conference. 

First, he wanted a current status on the number of filed cases. Presently, there are over 2,000 cases filed around the country in various jurisdictions. 

He also wanted an update regarding discovery. There was a lot of discussion about discovery. The plaintiffs argued that Stryker is not cooperating with discovery and is refusing to produce documents. One of the biggest problems concerned emails. There are thousands of documents produced in the case but very few emails. The plaintiffs’ attorneys discussed how Stryker employees, intimately involved with the design and development of the Rejuvenate hip for years, only produced approximately 100 emails when there should be thousands of emails. At this point in the litigation, the plaintiffs intend to conduct discovery to find out what happened to these emails. Were they destroyed? Why were they destroyed? If they were destroyed, were they backed up anywhere? Often, destroyed emails are obtained through backup tapes. 

Another discussion concerned depositions. According to plaintiffs, they are trying to get dates for depositions of Stryker employees and Stryker is not cooperating.  The plaintiffs believe Stryker is attempting to delay the proceedings in an effort to push out the July 2015 trial date. 

Currently, there are no meaningful settlement discussions. Stryker disclosed they settled roughly 27 cases of the thousands of cases that were filed. All those settlements are confidential and no one knows the specific amounts or details about the cases. Judge Frank appeared frustrated from this fact and indicated he would like an open settlement process. An open settlement process is typically the only way these cases are resolved. 

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