New Jersey’s chief justice on May 16 assigned state lawsuits over the Stryker LFIT Anatomic Cobalt Chromium (CoCr) V40 femoral heads into a multicounty litigation docket.
The court assigned the artificial hip cases to Judge Rachelle Harz of the Bergen County Superior Court, In Re: Stryker LFIT Anatomic CoCr V40 Femoral Heads Litigation, No. 624, N.J. Superior Court in Bergen County, NJ.
Separately, 36 federal LFIT cases were centralized in April into MDL 2768 in US District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Chief Justice Judge Harz issued an initial case management order on May 22. The first trial conference is set for June 21. The multicounty litigation was sought by 25 plaintiffs.
Motion follows recall
The Stryker LFIT was voluntarily recalled in August by Howmedica Osteonics Inc. when some taper locks failed. Plaintiffs allege that the part can fret and corrode, releasing metal particles and posing a risk of metallosis, necrosis, osteolysis and higher levels of cobalt and chromium in the bloodstream.
Howmedica opposed consolidation, saying existing cases are being effectively coordinated by Judge Harz. It suggested that if cases are consolidated, they be limited to cases involving the recalled LFIT V40 femoral heads that show taper lock failure.
The motion was filed by plaintiff attorney Ellen Relkin of Weitz & Luxenberg in New York.