March 1998 AAOS Report

Pedicle screw cases sent back to local courts

In February, by the order of the federal panel on multidistrict litigation and at the suggestion of Judge Louis Bechtle, the first 53 cases naming the Academy as a defendant in the pedicle screw products liability litigation were sent back to the local courts where they initially were filed for purposes of completing discovery and preparing for trial. It is expected, by the end of 1998, that all remaining cases will be sent back to local courts across the country. These remands were expected because under the multidistrict litigation process (unlike a class action proceeding), cases are consolidated in one court not for trial but only to resolve pre-trial motions and to complete earlier parts of discovery. The Academy will be working closely with the other medical organization defendants to file motions for summary judgment in the local courts, and if unsuccessful in disposing of the cases with these motions, to prepare the cases for trial.

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