Attorney Jeffrey Berniard has asked the Federal Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate at least thirty separate claims filed against DePuy for the manufacture of defective hip implants into one master case. In his motion, Berniard asks the federal court system to allow the consolidated claims to be heard in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Lousiana, which is located in New Orleans.
Mr. Berniard points to the New Orleans court’s centralized location as one fundamental reason for litigating the DePuy hip implant cases in Louisiana. As the DePuy recall has affected consumers nationally, the Eastern Louisiana federal court is geographically best suited to meet the needs of litigants located as far away as California and New Jersey, Berniard argues. Nestled in the center part of the country, New Orleans is not only equidistant from most plaintiffs but is a convenient transportation hub as well, with mild weather and regular airline flights available to accommodate the diverse travel needs of lawsuit participants.
Mr. Berniard cites the Eastern Louisiana District Court’s expertise in managing multiparty cases involving national consumers as an added reason for locating the DePuy cases in the Eastern District of Louisiana. In his motion, he presents the Chinese Drywall consolidated cases as a significant model for judicial efficiency within the district. The Chinese Drywall cases were recently centralized in the Eastern Louisiana federal district court, and Berniard is serving as class counsel. The matter is still pending but is expected to reach a swift resolution soon.
As seasoned counsel of several products liability cases, Berniard has established himself as a national expert in product defect lawsuits that are nationwide in scope. In past suits, he has established an effective leadership structure amongst class counsel that have led to the swift resolution of multiparty claims. Notably, Berniard has also implemented a state of the art electronic discovery system which has noticeably expedited the distribution of vital documents to plaintiffs’ counsel located throughout the country. The sophisticated case management structure Berniard utilizes is yet another compelling reason to locate the DePuy lawsuits in New Orleans, he urges in his motion.
In addition to the DePuy and Chinese Drywall cases mentioned above, Berniard has also exhibited an extensive track record prosecuting products claims in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Included among these achievements are lawsuits against Dow Chemical for a chemical leak, Hydroxycut Marketing for deceptive sales practices, Cox Communications for antitrust violations, AIG for bad faith denials of insurance claims, and British Petroleum for the harms stemming from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and subsequent oil spill. Moreover, Berniard has shared his extensive knowledge with other local practitioners, teaching various seminars on products liability issues.
The Federal JPML is in the process of reviewing Berniard’s consolidation request, and it will be making a ruling soon. This blog will continue to keep its readers informed of any legal developments in the DePuy hip recall litigation as they are publicized.
In the meantime, if you have received a hip implant in the last eight years or know somebody who has, and you believe your health may be at risk due to the DePuy recall, do not hesitate to contact attorney Jeffrey Berniard. In light of his extensive experience, he is consistently eager to counsel clients on their rights and any potential legal claims they may have.