Class action law firms, Shine Lawyers and Maurice Blackburn, have announced they will join forces to combine two class actions into one major $200 million claim.
The firms will jointly conduct a class action in the Federal Court in Sydney for over 1000 victims of defective hip implants.
The implants are made by DePuy and imported by Johnson & Johnson.
Shine Lawyers and Maurice Blackburn commenced separate class actions in the Federal Court of Australia in 2011 on behalf of all Australian victims. Today the Federal Court in Sydney approved applications to consolidate the class actions.
Ben Slade, managing principal at Maurice Blackburn NSW said a consolidated legal proceeding is in the best interests of all group members.
“It will allow a united approach to the serious claims being brought by so many Australians. The Australian damages claim is estimated to be worth more than $200m. By joining the cases, there will be cost savings and by streamlining the procedures the court and the defendants will only need to respond to one set of claims,” he said.
Shine’s national special projects partner, Rebecca Jancauskas, said that faced with these consolidated claims, DePuy and Johnson & Johnson should sit down with the two law firms and work through the detail of a compensation regime.
“There is no reason for further delay. Johnson & Johnson spent up to $2.9 billion in 2011 on product liability expenses and costs associated with the worldwide DePuy ASR Hip recall.
“I am sure that adequate provisions have been made to compensate Australians, so let’s just get on with it and get that money into the pockets of those Australians victims who need and deserve it.”