What is Remanding a Case and What Does it Mean for the Pinnacle Trial Appeal?
Hi, Stuart Talley here to do another update on the ongoing Pinnacle metal on metal hip cases.
Many people have called masked what is happening with the appeal under the rules in the Fifth Circuit. The appellate court is supposed to try and issue decisions within 60 days of oral argument. We are now just a couple days after that 60-day cutoff date but it’s important to know that that is a goal of the court. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule. They do not have to submit an opinion within 60 days, so we’re still waiting. I would expect it to come any day now but it’s gonna come when it comes.
The other issue that recently happened is there was a case that came down in another Circuit Court that was very helpful for us on our appeal. Specifically it related to the argument that Depuy made that it was unfair for the court to allow multiple plaintiffs to be tried in a single trial in front of one jury. The argument that they made is that because people had different circumstances and their implants were typically put in at different times it was difficult for a jury to figure out and since what did the company know as of the date that the hip was put in there would be differences in DePuy claim that was unfair.
There’s a decision that came down from the force Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently that was identical to the case here where the court said that that was fine to do that. It was okay to have multiple plaintiffs tried in a single trial so that’s that’s what’s going on with the appeal. Hopefully we’ll get a decision soon at the same time.
At the trial court level, the plaintiffs have started the process of trying to get a system set up to remand cases. And when I say we remand what I mean is that the legal term for when cases are sent back to various district courts for trial. So right now all of the Pinnacle cases were consolidated and coordinated in front of judge Kincaid in Dallas Texas and under the law he doesn’t hold the cases forever. There will be at a point in time where he remands the cases back to district courts and usually that’s the court where the plaintiff lives for trial. And so what the plaintiffs have proposed is a process where certain cases are identified and it would be groups of cases maybe 10 or 20 cases at a time would be identified as cases that need to be worked up for trial. Judge Kincaid would keep the cases, would have all of the discovery done on those cases. If there were disputes you would go to judge Kincaid to resolve them.
The other thing that was suggested was that there be a process put in place to begin videotaping what we call trial depositions. So the plaintiffs would identify witnesses, they would take depositions of those witnesses but they would be depositions that would be intended to be used at trial. So it would be almost like a cross-examination that would happen in a trial but it would be videotaped in a conference room somewhere. Then what can happen is the plaintiffs in those individual cases could take the videotapes from that testimony and play it to the jury in their hometown when the case is remanded.
Its intended to sort of expedite the process of trying these cases down the road so that was the proposal that the plaintiffs made it’s unclear what the defendants will request from the judge and it’s unclear what the judge will do. Usually cases like this are settled before cases are remanded either settled through a global settlement program or there are outcomes where the plaintiffs cases eventually are lose because of the summary judgment ruling or something like that. That’s not going to happen in this case so if there is no settlement that takes place this judge will really have no choice but to begin remanding cases. it’s just a matter of how he does it so that’s where we are hopefully we’ll get a decision on the appeal soon and hopefully it’ll be a good decision for the plaintiffs. And what would be nice is if that there could be some global resolution of the case that comes out of this appeal process
If you have a metal-on-metal hip made by Pinnacle or i you have any questions about what’s going on with the litigation feel free to give us a call you can reach us at the phone number on the screen you could fill out our online form and a lawyer will call you back.