In 2018, Beasley Allen lawyers filed five HV Bone Cement cases in federal courts in North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas. These cases are now being primed for the discovery phase.

Discovery will involve some of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers, including DePuy, Stryker, Howmedica Osteonics, Biomet, DJO Global, and even some foreign manufacturers. Presently, the parties are discussing logistics to establish a protocol based on modern best practices for document production. One of the main concerns is how document production will be compatible with modern discovery technology.

Modern discovery technology is now capable of analyzing and categorizing millions of documents by predictive technologies. There are two basic types of e-discovery technologies: (1) search and (2) classification technology. Search technology uses keyword searches and returns “matching” documents based on the exact terms specified by the attorney. Search technology will not return a document unless the lawyer already knows or can figure out what terms are contained in the relevant document. In contrast, classification technology provides context by classifying documents into groups or categories based on predictive technology. One type of classification technology is known as “predictive coding.”

Predictive coding is a type of technology-assisted review that relies on input from the attorney to predict how documents should be classified. Services our lawyers and staff use every day, such as Amazon and Netflix, already use similar technology to predict our choices. Similar to how Amazon uses input from you (your searches, views, purchases, and product ratings) to predict what you might like next, predictive coding software uses input from a lawyer’s coding of a small set of documents to predict how that lawyer would code the rest of the documents. Once predictive review is complete, the technology’s review can be measured for accuracy.

While this technology-assisted review is faster and more cost-effective (in large volume cases) than traditional document review, many lawyers might question whether those benefits give way to accuracy. Recent studies have shown that predictive coding is more accurate than traditional manual document review. In one study, human reviewers missed between 20 percent and 75 percent of all relevant documents. Another study found that when one manual reviewer determined a document to be relevant, there was only about a 50 percent chance that a second reviewer would agree. Unlike manual review, predictive coding technology allows lawyers to objectively evaluate the computer’s performance and adjust it if necessary.

The bone cement litigation will involve comprehensive discovery with millions of documents. Modern discovery technology, such as predictive coding, can dramatically reduce the number of documents that need to be reviewed manually, reduce costs and improve results. Our lawyers look forward to working with electronic discovery experts and utilizing this advanced technology in cases involving HV Bone Cement.

Beasley Allen lawyers continue to investigate cases involving early knee replacement failure due to high-viscosity bone cement. If you or a loved one has experienced complications from knee replacement surgery, requiring revision surgery, contact Roger Smith or Ryan Duplechin, lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at or

American Association for Justice: Annika K. Martin, How to Stop Worrying and Love Predictive Coding, TRIAL (2016)
South Carolina Law Review: Charles Yablon & Nick Landsman-Roos, Predictive Coding: Emerging Questions and Concerns, 64 S.C. L. REV. 633, 637 (2013)
American Bar Association: Aaron Goodman, Predictive Coding: A Better Way to Deal with Electronically Stored Information, 43 LITIGATION 23 (2016).

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This story appears in the December 2018 edition of The Jere Beasley Report. For more like it or to subscribe to the Report, visit our Publications page.

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