Andres Alonso Named to DePuy Hip Implant Litigation Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee

Andres F. Alonso, Esq., a partner of the national <"">personal injury law firm, has been named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the federal litigation surrounding DePuy ASR XL Acetabular System. The appointment was made by U.S. District Judge David A. Katz, the federal judge overseeing the DePuy ASR Hip Implant multidistrict litigation (MDL 2197), in an order dated January 26, 2011.

The Steering Committee will, among other things, conduct and coordinate the discovery stage of the <"">DePuy hip replacement recall  litigation with the defendants’ representatives or committee. The Committee will also act as a spokesperson for all plaintiffs at pretrial proceedings and in response to any inquiries by the Court.

Ellen Relkin and Steven J. Skikos were named Co-Lead Counsels of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. Other members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee include:

Esther Berezofsky
Ed Blizzard
Jane Conroy
Leonard A. Davis
Wendy Fleishman
Lawrence J. Gornick
Seth Katz
Mark Lanier
Michael London
Donald A. Migliori
Peter J. Polos
Nava Ward, Jr.

In addition to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, Judge Katz also appointed attorneys as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and Plaintiffs’ State Liaison Counsels. His order also names members of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, the Science Committee, as well as the Discovery Committee and the Laws & Motions Committee. According to Judge Katz’s order, chairs of the additional committees will be appointed by the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee.

<"">Johnson and Johnson DePuy Orthopaedics unit issued a worldwide recall for the ASR XL Acetabular Hip Replacement System after data from the National Joint Registry of England and Wales showed that 1 out of every 8 patients (12%-13%) who had received the recalled devices had to undergo revision surgery within five years of receiving it. By then, more than 93,000 patients worldwide were fitted with an ASR hip implant. It is believed that roughly a third of those were patients in the U.S. DePuy has since been named in scores of product liability lawsuits in the U.S. Late last year, all federal DePuy hip implants lawsuits have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation before Judge Katz in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

The ASR Hip Implant System is a metal-on-metal hip implant made of chromium and cobalt, consisting of a cup that’s implanted into the hip with a ball joint that connects to the leg. It is believed that many of the complications linked to the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular hip implant are caused by wearing of the metal components, which can allow metal shavings to make their way into patients’ bloodstreams, leading to tissue breakdown, bone loss, and even the formation of non-cancerous tumors. The shedding of metal shavings can cause cobalt poisoning, a disorder that, if left untreated, can put patients at risk of tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo, deafness, blindness, optic nerve atrophy, convulsions, headaches, peripheral neuropathy, cardiomyopathy, and hypothyroidism.

As we’ve reported previously, Mr. Alonso also serves as Co-Lead Counsel in the Denture Cream Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2051) currently pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division. He is also a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Yaz and Yasmin multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2100).

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