A New York federal judge freed DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. from a suit alleging components it manufactured were defective and caused a hip implant to injure a patient, after finding that an expert’s testimony was correctly limited to exclude discussion of DePuy’s products.

U.S. District Judge Lewis J. Liman found that plaintiff Jodi Rouviere  lacked the evidence and testimony to link DePuy’s conduct to her injury.

Rouviere alleges that she was injured after receiving a defective hip implant with parts manufactured by Howmedica and DePuy Orthopaedics Inc., as the parts conflicted with one another and caused pieces to move out of the area they were supposed to be in. With DePuy’s summary judgment, Howmedica is the only defendant remaining in the suit.

After Rouviere’s first expert “mysteriously” withdrew, the second expert they found was disqualified because he had previously been used as an expert by DePuy in other litigation concerning its hip implant parts, resulting in Rouviere’s offer of Dr. John Jarrell as a third expert.

While Judge Liman found there was sufficient evidence to create a dispute as to whether DePuy had a duty to warn and whether the warnings on its products were adequate, he found that Rouviere fell short of showing that any different warnings would have changed her doctor’s behavior.

Rouviere’s doctor had in fact testified that he will continue to use DePuy’s products, even with what he knows now, and Rouviere hasn’t put forth any evidence that her doctor, or any other doctor, would change what parts they use if DePuy changed its warnings.

That there’s no evidence that additional warnings would have changed the doctor’s choice of tools also applies to his choice of warnings, saying there’s also no evidence that the doctor would have told Rouviere more about the products if DePuy had put different warnings on its products.


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