A raft of personal injury lawsuits filed over Biomet‘s M2A Magnum metal-on-metal hip implant have been consolidated in a federal court in Indiana.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation moved 65 pending cases from other jurisdictions to the U.S. District Court for Northern Indiana, over Biomet’s objections.
The lawsuits allege that the medical device’s metal-on-metal design is defective because it’s prone to "generate high levels of metal ions, cause metallosis in the surrounding tissue and/or fail early," according to court documents.
Biomet wanted the trials relocated to New York or New Jersey, contending that "individualized, plaintiff-specific issues will predominate among the actions" and that "several distinguishing attributes make this litigation inappropriate for centralization," namely that the device hasn’t been recalled, that several other cases have already been resolved and that the M2A device "has been comparatively less problematic than similar hip implant products of its competitors," according to the documents.
"Though these arguments have some weight, they are not strong enough to overcome the reasons supporting centralization," the JPML ruled. "Certainly, individual issues will be important at some point in these cases. However, a central issues in these cases may well be whether a common defect hasled to the injuries alleged."
The JPML recently moved another set of metal-on-metal hip implant lawsuits to a central locale, moving at least 57 suits filed against Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics over its Pinnacle implants to the U.S. District Court for Northern Texas.
But the panel declined to consolidate lawsuits filed against Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG), saying it was unconvinced that "centralization would serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses or further the just and efficient conduct of this litigation."