In mass tort cases, plaintiffs’ lawyers love MDLs. The hope for many lawyers who have mass tort cases is that they can sign up the client, let the MDL steering committee (a selected group of lawyers that take the lead on the cases) do the heavy lifting, and then join into the larger settlement. This is true when you have an enormous volume of cases that are settling for a small- or mid-sized amount of money. Because working these cases up individually is hard work with a limited payoff.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers instinctive love of MDLs dies quickly when they have a substantial case that they want to push forward as opposed to waiting for the sometimes torpid MDL to move forward. This is true when you have an outlier case that you think has great value than other cases.
This takes us to Davis v. Biomet Orthopedics. Biomet is one of the manufacturers of the much-maligned metal-on-metal hip implants. These hip implants have two components made of metal. When the patient’s leg moves, the metal parts grind away at each other. This causes metal bits to shave off and to fall into the surrounding tissue, and sometimes into the patient’s bloodstream. The plaintiff, in this case, alleges that she was harmed by a defective prosthetic Biomet hip implant.