The plaintiff in a product liability lawsuit brought against Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary DePuy Synthes won a new trial after an Illinois state court found that a joint replacement researcher’s testimony was unfairly excluded from her original trial.
Carol Strum lost her first trial in April 2013 after a Chicago jury rejected her claims that the company, then known as DePuy Orthopaedics, was liable for injuries she allegedly sustained after implantation with a metal-on-metal ASR XL hip implant. DePuy pulled the ASR XL devices from the market in August 2010.
Judge Deborah Mary Dooling of the Cook County Circuit Court found that barring the testimony from Dr. David Langton about his research using volumetric wear analysis kept Strum from having a fair trial – despite having presided over the first trial four years ago, including a hearing to apply the Frye doctrine to the scientific evidence she would allow at trial.
“The court in its pretrial ruling defined the relevant scientific community as the metrology and tribology scientists; however, that ruling was incorrect because that community designation was too restrictive,” Dooling wrote in granting Strum a new trial. “Here, the relevant scientific community includes all the scientists, experts, practitioners and surgeons in both the scientific and medical field associated with the implant industry.
“A re-examination of the transcripts of the testimony of defendants’ consultant experts at the Frye hearing make clear plaintiff is correct when she asserts that defendants’ attack on Dr. Langton’s volumetric wear calculations does not show his method is not generally accepted but only that the defendants’ consultants disagreed with the way Dr. Langton applied mathematics and computer programs to calculate volumetric wear on explant components,” she wrote.
“This new trial is vindication for our client. Ms. Strum, and the thousands of other Americans injured and victimized by DePuy’s defective and dangerous ASR XL hip replacement device,” Strum attorney Peter Flowers said in prepared remarks. “We look forward to continue to diligently pursue justice for Ms. Strum and helping further expose how debilitating these defective devices can be to the patient and their entire family.”