A group of at least 57 product liability lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics over one of its metal-on-metal hip implants were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for Northern Texas.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the cases, leveled against DePuy over its Pinnacle hip replacement implant, into a single multi-district litigation on the grounds that all of the lawsuits involve similar allegations. New cases will be transferred to the Lone Star State as they’re filed before Judge James Kinkeade.
The Pinnacle device, which pre-dates DePuy’s ASR implant by a few years, is like its older cousin in that it’s been found to shed minute particles of metal as the hip’s ball joint wears on the metal cup. The lawsuits allege that increases the risk of problems and make the implants prone to early failure.
The courts took a similar tack with lawsuits filed over the ASR implant, which DePuy wound up recalling, consolidating them into the U.S. District Court for Northern Ohio. Those lawsuits allege that the New Brunswick, N.J.-based medical conglomerate knew of problems with the implant but left it on the market anyway.
DePuy voluntarily recalled the ASR in August 2010 after receiving reports that a higher-than-normal number of patients required surgeries to correct or remove defective implants. The company said it was pulling the ASR XL Acetabular and ASR Hip Resurfacing systems from the market "due to the number of patients who required a second hip replacement procedure, called a revision surgery." More than 96,000 patients were been affected by the massive global recall.
Applied Medical sues Covidien for patent infringement
The tables have turned as Applied Medical Resources Corp. announced litigation against Covidien plc’s (NYSE:COV) predecessor Tyco Healthcare, asserting infringement on a recently issued universal seal trocar patent.
The announcement comes just days after the first anniversary of a federal judge’s decision in favor of a Covidien patent infringement lawsuit that cost Applied Medical $4.8 million. That suit also involved a trocar, a device used for withdrawing fluids from a body cavity.
If successful, this will be Applied Medical’s third win against Covidien and its corporate predecessors, Tyco Healthcare and U.S. Surgical, according to the Norwalk, Conn.-based company.