The parties to Stryker hip lawsuits involving allegedly defective LFIT V40 femoral head components are at odds over the size of the federal multidistrict litigation’s bellwether trial pool.
According to a report from HarrisMartin.com, plaintiffs had recently filed a motion seeking to reduce the bellwether trial pool to 8 cases. However, in a brief filed with the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, on September 6th, the defense argued that there was no good reason to reduce the size of the pool and pointed out that the parties had already agreed to limited discovery depositions in 18 cases.
“A mere eight bellwether discovery plaintiffs will not permit a representative pool of four bellwether trials, considering the multiple important variables at issue, including age, implant size, alleged injury, severity of injury, comorbidities, and others,” the brief states.
In a response filed the same day, plaintiffs asserted that discovery on 18 Stryker hip lawsuits will only increase expenses incurred by the plaintiffs without furthering the goals of the bellwether process.
“Although this litigation involves many factors, trying every single factor must be tempered with the reality of this litigation and the expense, burden, and time constraints on both the Parties and the Court,” the response states. “Rather than attempt to delineate every identifiable variable (i.e. ten different stems), the parties can easily identify the major variables.”
Among other things, they suggested that the bellwether process should focus on three major variables: Head Size/Offset; TMZF or non-TMZF stems; and recalled or non-recalled heads. Secondary to those variables, age could also be considered as a patient-specific factor.
Stryker’s LFIT V40 femoral heads are intended to work with a number of the company’s modular hip stems, including:
Stryker recalled certain LFIT V40 CoCr V40 Femoral Heads manufactured prior to 2011, in response to an unexpected number of reports involving taper failure. Taper lock failure can result in serious complications, including hip implant failure and the need for revision surgery.
The FDA designated the 2016 Stryker hip recall a Class II medical device recall, which indicates that the affected components could cause temporary or medically-reversible health consequences.
Stryker expanded the LFIT V40 femoral head recall in May 2018, after the components were associated with a higher-than-usual number of complaints involving femoral head/hip stem disassociation.
More than 430 Stryker hip lawsuits are pending in the multidistrict litigation now underway in Massachusetts federal court, all of which were filed on behalf of individuals who suffered injuries and complications allegedly associated with the failure of a LFIT V40 femoral head.
The litigation’s bellwether trials will involve cases representative of others pending in the litigation. Verdicts in the bellwether trial cases could provide some insight into how other juries will rule in similar Stryker hip cases.