The case, originally scheduled for trial Sept. 9, was postponed by Judge David Katz of the U.S. District Court for Northern Ohio until Sept. 24. But yesterday, Katz delayed the proceedings again, citing the difficulty of scheduling expert witness testimony, according to court documents.
"After conferring at length with the trial attorneys handling this matter, the court has determined that because of the initial continuance of this trial as aforesaid the scheduling of expert witnesses by both parties has become an extremely difficult task," Katz wrote. "Additionally, issues remain with regard to scheduling of additional depositions and pretrial discovery which are necessary for the thorough preparation and presentation of this bellwether case."
The trial is to commence within 90 days, Katz ordered, according to the documents.
Katz, who is overseeing the DePuy ASR MDL, 1st pushed Ann McCracken v. DePuy Orthopaedics back to allow more time for discovery.
Johnson & Johnson pulled the DePuy ASR device from the market in 2010, prompting thousands of personal injury lawsuits across the country.
The 1st trial over the DePuy ASR implant settled in August 2012 before it could go to trial. In March, a jury awarded another plaintiff, Loren Kransky, $8.3 million after deciding that the device was defectively designed (California Judge J. Stephen Czuleger rejected DePuy’s request for a new trial in May). In April, an Illinois state jury found for DePuy in Carol Strum vs. DePuy Orthopaedics & Premier Orthopaedic Sales.
Plaintiffs in 7 lawsuits filed over the device can add claims over the DePuy Pinnacle implant, a state judge in California ruled last month.
The August 2010 recall of the DePuy ASR devices was "due to the number of patients who required a second hip replacement procedure," according to a company report. An internal review in 2011 found that 37% of DePuy’s ASR hip implants would require revision or replacement in less than 4.6 years.
In July, Katz ruled on a number of pre-trial motions from both sides, granting DePuy’s bid to keep evidence about the recall out of the trial.