This is a transcript of a two hour symposium which deals with the Sulzer knee and hip replacement class action. A copy of the settlement is included as an appendix. The settlement in the U.S. District Court for the N.D. Ohio was unique and creative approach to resolving a mass tort class action. In a novel move, Sulzer agreed to open its books to an independent review firm to determine how much the firm could pay without going bankrupt. The number was $1 billion. As negotiated by the parties and approved by the court, the final settlement provides compensation for each member of the class based on a variety of factors, such as whether the member has undergone - or is likely to undergo - a revision to replace the defective part. Professor Susan Becker made the introductory remarks. The panel members were all involved in the Sulzer knee and hip replacement class action. R. Eric Kennedy served as lead plaintiffs' counsel. The Honorable Kathleen McDonald O'Malley of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio presided over the Sulzer class action litigation and settlement. Sidney A. Backstrom and Richard F. Scruggs were the defense counsel. James J. McMonagle served as the Claims Administrator overseeing distribution of the Sulzer class action settlement funds.
Symposium, A Novel Approach to Mass Tort Class Actions: The Billion Dollar Settlement in the Sulzer Artificial Hip and Knee Litigation: A Symposium, 16 J.L. & Health 169 (2001-2002)