Last month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) centralized all Exactech pursuits in one MDLor multidistrict litigation, and transferred the claims to U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in the Eastern District of New York, to coordinate the discovery of common issues in the claims, avoid conflicting pretrial schedules, and serve the convenience of common witnesses and parties involved in lawsuits that have spread throughout the federal court system.
Initial State Conference Scheduled in Exactech Recall MDL
Shortly after the creation of the MDL, Judge Garaufis announced that a first status conference would be held on November 16. steps involved in appointing a group of lawyers to various leadership positions and other pending motions.
Judge Exactech MDL also said the parties should be prepared to discuss the status of certain state lawsuits, which were consolidated before Circuit Judge Donna M. Keim of the Alachua County Court in Florida. where Exactech’s US headquarters is located.
A letter (PDF) submitted last month by an attorney representing multiple plaintiffs noted that the state of affairs in Florida was much more advanced. The letter urged Judge Garaufis to move quickly to appoint attorneys to leadership positions, so they can have attorneys involved in the litigation who have express authority to sign orders, accept discovery questions or other issues that require consensus. The letter notes that many of these issues will also arise in federal pretrial proceedings.
Another letter (PDF), submitted by another plaintiffs attorney this week, also called for speed due to the advanced state of litigation in Florida, calling on the Court to obtain the discovery documents already produced for the Florida cases. The letter also urges Judge Garaufis to quickly allow plaintiffs to file claims directly with the MDL court instead of waiting for cases to be transferred from their home districts, and to quickly approve the use of abridged claims for further speed up the filing process.
November 2022 Update on Exactech Recall Lawsuit
According to the initial JPML order, there are currently at least 75 complaints filed or pending in various federal district courts nationwide, each involving similar issues of fact and law. These claims will be centralized before Judge Garaufis, who is expected to appoint a small group of plaintiffs’ attorneys to fill various leadership positions such as in pre-trial proceedings.
Over the coming months and years, it is widely expected that the size and scope of litigation will continue to increase as knee replacement lawyers continue to investigate and file claims for individuals who experience an Exactech joint failure.
As part of the coordinated management of litigation outside of the Eastern District of New York, it is common for the Court to establish an “indicator” program, where small groups of representative cases are scheduled for early trial dates to help assess how juries are likely to respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the claims. However, if Exactech’s recall settlements are not concluded as a result of the MDL proceeding, each individual claim may then be remanded in separate US district courts nationwide for future trial dates.