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According to Judge David Katz, overseeing the consolidated cases, there are more than 6,000 lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson over its defective DePuy ASR hip replacements.

The federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) is consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, which includes about 4,200 suits. 2,000 cases are filed in state courts, including California, Nevada, Maryland, Florida, Wisconsin and Utah.

The lawsuits are just a fraction of the 93,000 patients who were implanted with DePuy Orthopaedics ASR hip replacement systems between 2005 and mid-2010. DePuy issued a global recall in August of 2010, primarily because of early failure rates.

Experts question why there are not more lawsuits filed and attribute it mainly to a lack of knowledge among the victims and their families and a general lack of interest on part of the implanting orthopedic doctors, who are concerned about possible medical malpractice lawsuits.

What is DePuy ASR Hip-Replacement Bellwether trials?

A bellwether trial is the first trial in the MDL and a sample case that can set precedent for the other cases that follow. If the plaintiffs win the first rounds of bellwether trials convincingly and with good jury verdicts, that will send the message to DePuy. DePuy will then be more inclined to issue a global settlement and pave the way to giving victims the much deserved monetary compensation.

The first federal trial could be as soon as March or April 2013. The first DePuy hips case to be tried in state court is scheduled for December 3, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada. A second state case has been scheduled for January 2013 in Maryland state court.

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