The so-called “bellwether mediation” resulted in a settlement of at least $1 billion. A collection of selected cases from New Jersey and the Stryker Rejuvenate MDL were selected as bellwether cases to represent the larger tort of some 3,000 cases.
Pundits note that such a mediated settlement is faster than going through an extended trial process - about 18 months from when the MDL was established (In re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL number 2441, before the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation).
Observers note that the mediated settlement route could also benefit defendants, who might be motivated to offer a fair and equitable settlement in mediation rather than risk a massive jury award in trial.
As an example, industry watchers point to the trial verdict against Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co, in which a federal jury in Louisiana awarded plaintiffs $9 billion for bladder cancer issues related to Actos, a popular drug for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. A US District Court judge later reduced that award to $37 million. That said, the initial award has given pause to drug companies facing massive litigation to explore other pathways of settling lawsuits equitably for both sides, while avoiding costly and time-consuming trials.
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The mediation process began about a year ago, and the settlement announced in early November. The base payment of $300,000 per hip does not include payments to plaintiffs who may have encountered complications resulting from revision surgery. Such procedures are usually more complex than initial implant surgery, with a greater chance for complication. Any patient having endured Stryker Orthopedics Metallosis may have ongoing health complications following removal of the problematic device.