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COA: Hip-replacement tort cases must be heard where implants were done

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Plaintiffs from Mississippi and Virginia may not pursue litigation in Marion County over defective replacement hip devices manufactured in northern Indiana, the Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

The panel reversed denial of a motion to dismiss filed by the device makers in Depuy Orthopaedics Inc. and, Johnson & Johnson v. Travis Brown, et al.,  49A02-1304-CT-332, and remanded to Marion Superior Judge John Hanley with instructions to grant dismissal.

The case centers on the ASR XL Acetabular System prosthetic hip implant that was sold and distributed by Warsaw-based Depuy Orthopaedics from 2005 to 2010 and later recalled. Eighteen people who received the implant in surgeries in Virginia and one in Mississippi filed this case in 2012.

Judge Rudy R. Pyle III wrote for the panel that the devices are the subject of multi-district litigation in federal courts, and that the plaintiffs can file elsewhere, but that the trial court erred in denying dismissal on the basis of forum non conveniens governed by Indiana Trial Rule 4.4(C).

Pyle wrote that a conflict-of-laws analysis and Trial Rule 4.4(C)(3) require the case to be heard where the hip replacements were implanted.

“(W)e see no evidence in the record that Virginia or Mississippi are inadequate forums. In fact, during oral argument, the plaintiffs’ desire for trial in Indiana focused on securing an earlier trial date rather than any deprivation of their rights if trial took place elsewhere. There has been no showing by the plaintiffs that trial in their home forum will deprive them of any remedy or subject them to unfair treatment," Pyle wrote.

“We reverse and remand to the trial court for issuance of the appropriate order dismissing this case for refiling in Virginia or Mississippi,” he wrote.

 

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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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