January 9, 2014 — The first trials involving the Biomet M2A Magnum hip replacement will move forward beginning in June 2015, according to an order issued by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on December 10.
The order outlined the the process by which so-called “bellwether” trials will be chosen. Lawyers for plaintiffs and defendants must choose three cases as potential candidates by February 7. They will have until April 18 to complete discovery on those cases. As many as five cases will be set for trial beginning in June 2015.
The JPML established the litigation in October 2012. Since then, at least 893 lawsuits have been filed by people who were injured by the Biomet M2A Magnum hip implant. Plaintiffs allege that the metal-on-metal design is defective and leads to an unreasonably high rate of failure.
Thousands of lawsuits have already been filed by manufacturers of other all-metal hip implants. The problem with the design is that tiny particles of chromium and cobalt can shed into a patient’s body when the metal parts grind together. Over time, the metal debris can accumulate around the hip joint, causing painful tissue damage, or leech into the body and cause metal poisoning.