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Florida Consolidates Stryker Lawsuits for Discovery Only

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Back in July 2013, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II lawsuits into one court in the District of Minnesota. The consolidation was deemed appropriate because the lawsuits all involved common questions of fact and because the new MDL would increase efficiency on the whole.

Now, Florida has followed suit by consolidating all Stryker recall lawsuits filed at the state court level.

Florida Stryker Lawsuits Consolidated

In an order dated October 3, 2013, Circuit Court Judge Marina Garcia-Wood brought together 13 cases, as well as any additional actions appropriate for consolidation, into the Broward County Circuit Court for pre-trial discovery purposes only.

“There are a number of cases currently pending in this Circuit relating to a product commonly referred to as a Rejuvenate Total Hip System,” the judge wrote, with more likely to be filed in the future. Consolidation is expected to increase efficiency, conserve judicial resources, and reduce the risk of duplicative discovery.

Earlier this year, New Jersey did the same thing, consolidating all state Stryker hip lawsuit into the Bergen County Superior Court. The next case management conference there is scheduled for October 23, 2013.

Stryker Recalls Hip Implants

In the summer of 2012, Stryker issued a voluntary product recall for both the Rejuvenate and the ABG II implants. They stated that the metal components in the modular stem could rub against one another, causing fretting and corrosion that could lead to other side effects like tissue damage and death, inflammation, swelling, and premature loosening.

The modular stem of the implant was originally thought to improve outcomes for patients. As opposed to a fixed, one-piece stem used in most other hip implants, the Rejuvenate and ABG II had two-piece modular stems that could be mixed and matched to more closely fit a patient’s unique body size and shape.

Post-marketing reports, however, indicated that patients were experiencing a higher-than-normal failure rate with these implants, and later studies found that the two metal components were wearing against one another, shedding metal debris into the surrounding tissues of the hip joint.

Stryker MDL in Progress

Nearly 300 Stryker lawsuits are proceeding in the federal MDL, where patients allege the products were defectively designed, and that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings about the risks. The next status conference is scheduled for November 21, 2013.