DePuy Pinnacle 2017 Trial Update 10: What is next after the verdict? Due to the holiday, our next video may not be posted until next week. We appreciate your patience. We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Just How Large Was the Latest DePuy Verdict, and What’s Next?
Hi, this is Stuart Talley here to do another update on the ongoing Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip cases. If you’ve been following our blog, you know that there was a verdict recently announced in the fourth bellwether trial at the litigation. It was a verdict for several hundred million dollars and many people have called to ask, what’s happening next? What’s the next step in the process? Well, what I can tell you is that one of the key events in this litigation is the outcome of the appeal from the second bellwether trial. That was a case where there was a verdict for around five hundred million dollars, it was subsequently reduced, but it was a very large verdict and that is the first of the bellwether cases to be appealed. While we’ve just received word that the oral argument for that appeal is set to take place on December 7th at 1:00 o’clock at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. If you want to follow the appeal, one thing you can do is go to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals website and there’s actually a link up at the top there’s a tab that says oral arguments and you can actually listen to a recording of the oral argument from that hearing. So, if you’re interested you can go to the website and actually listen to the arguments that are being made before the panel of judges. Now the way these appeals work is there are three judges that will hear it. So, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has many judges on it, but three are selected to actually hear the appeal. The three that are selected, we won’t know who they are until about a week before the trial or before the oral argument actually takes place. So, stay tuned once we find out who the judges are we’ll let you know, but right now it’s up in the air. We don’t know who those judges are going to be. Now, after the appeal is decided, and I would expect some kind of decision out of the court within 30 to 45 days after the oral argument, I expect there may be some settlement discussions between the parties. At least that’s my optimistic hope at this point. This is not the kind of case that DePuy can continue trying to juries over and over again because there’s 9,000. It could take years for that to come to fruition, and at the same time it’s incredibly expensive for DePuy to do that. Each one of these trials most likely cost DePuy millions of dollars in attorneys fees and expert fees to try. So at some point there needs to be some type of resolution. I expect discussions would take place after that appeal is decided. If it’s decided in favor of the plaintiffs, the discussions will take an entirely different tone than if it’s decided in favor of the defendant. So, that’s sort of a big event in the litigation. Now, what is going to happen in the trial court is unclear right now. There has been some discussion about sending cases out for trial, and what we call that is reman. So, the way it works is there are 9,000 cases now pending in Dallas. The judge has done several bellwether trials. At this point, if there is no global settlement, the option that the judge has is basically sending the cases back to the home courts where the plaintiffs reside for trials. The question is, how is that going to happen? Is it going to happen where all 9,000 are sent back to the home states of the individual plaintiffs all at once, or is the judge going to manage the cases and send them back in groups? And that remains to be seen. I don’t expect there’s going to be any decision on that until after this appeal is decided. So, that’s where we are. There’s a lot in flux. Stay tuned we’ll keep you updated on what’s going on with the appeal, but as I mentioned I don’t think there’s going to be any big developments in the case until after that appeal from that second bellwether is decided. If you have any questions about the litigation, feel free to give us a call. You can reach us at the phone number on the screen. You can fill out one of our online forms, and a lawyer will call you right back.