Lawsuit against hip replacement maker to remain in Indiana

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The lawsuit brought by 19 people in Virginia and Mississippi against Warsaw, Indiana-based DePuy Orthopaedics alleging injuries from a now-recalled hip implant will remain in Indiana over the medical manufacturer’s objections.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in Marion Superior Court, alleging negligence, breach of express and implied warranties, and fraudulent concealment after DePuy issued a voluntary global recall on the ASR XL system, the same system the plaintiffs had implanted in hip surgeries. DePuy filed a motion to dismiss under Trial Rule 4.4(C), arguing that Virginia and Mississippi are the proper forums.  The trial court denied DePuy’s motion, but the Court of Appeals reversed on interlocutory appeal.

In DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson v. Travis Brown, et al., 49S02-1504-CT-225, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the decision of the trial court. They looked at whether the decision was clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before the court, and noted there is evidence supporting keeping the trial in Indiana and moving it to Virginia or Mississippi.

“That does not mean that we are entitled to reweigh the evidence on appeal,” Justice Mark Massa wrote. “The record here reveals sufficient evidence for the trial court to have reasonably concluded that Indiana was the appropriate forum for this litigation, and thus the trial court did not abuse its discretion.”

The case is remanded for further proceedings.

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