Understanding Scope of Zimmer Hip Litigation
When Zimmer announced the temporary suspension of sales of its Durom Cup in 2008, the action caused a stir among patients who had received the device. Several lawsuits were filed in the wake of that “Zimmer hip recall.” Although Zimmer has since placed the product back on the market, litigation surrounding the device has continued to grow. As a result, a Judicial Panel transferred the individual lawsuits to a multidistrict litigation for more efficient handling. This action is sometimes mistaken for class action. However, there are some important differences between these types of lawsuits.
What is Multidistrict Zimmer Hip Litigation?
Multidistrict litigation, also referred to as an MDL, is a way for the court to consolidate numerous cases that have a number of facts in common. The decision to form and assign an MDL is made by a panel of seven federal judges who were appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. This type of Zimmer hip litigation has been established to streamline the pre-trial process for Zimmer hip lawsuits across the country under a single federal judge. The Zimmer hip litigation was assigned to Judge Susan D. Wigenton of the New Jersey federal court. Judge Wigenton has previous experience dealing with multidistrict litigation and brings excellent credentials to the Zimmer hip lawsuits pending.
Earlier this year, the Zimmer hip lawsuits in the MDL were ordered to go to mediation. Many lawyers were able to negotiate reasonable settlements for their clients, eliminating the need for a trial. However, seven Zimmer hip lawsuits are still in the MDL, since a settlement could not be reached in those cases. These cases are scheduled to be heard in court either later this year or early next. In addition, lawyers across the country are considering additional Zimmer hip litigation, which could increase the number of Zimmer hip lawsuits overall.
What is a Zimmer Hip Class Action Suit?
Zimmer hip class action is somewhat different from an MDL. In this situation, a number of Zimmer hip lawsuits are grouped together to be heard as a single case. Class action suits are most common when all the plaintiffs involved are seeking compensatory damages. If compensation is awarded by the court, the full amount of the settlement is split evenly between all of the plaintiffs in the class action. Class action suits can be devastating to a defendant, because the amount of the settlement could be high enough to bring a company into financial ruin. Though this litigation model may be optimal in certain circumstances, a Zimmer hip lawyer will likely file a new Zimmer hip lawsuit as part of the MDL.
At the present time, the only Zimmer hip class action suit has been filed in Canada. No similar plans have been announced to introduce a Zimmer hip class action suit in the United States.