On November 24, 2015, a federal jury in Georgia returned its verdict in the amount of $11 million ($1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages) against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. (“Wright”) involving its Conserve hip replacement system, after a two-week trial that began on November 10, 2015 followed by three days of jury deliberations. The jury determined that the plaintiff’s Wright metal-on-metal hip replacement was unreasonably dangerous and defective, and that Wright was grossly negligent in manufacturing and marketing it.
The verdict came in the first case to go to trial in the federal multidistrict litigation involving the allegedly defective product – there are almost 550 federal lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Of Georgia against the Tennessee-based defendant. The lawsuits against Wright regarding its Conserve hip system were coordinated into multidistrict litigation in February 2012, and assigned to Judge Thomas W. Thrash of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
The plaintiff, a former ski instructor from Utah, filed her defective medical device claim in 2013, alleging that her Conserve hip replacement that was implanted in 2006 came loose and caused tissue damage. The plaintiff alleged that she chose the Wright Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant based on her discussion with her doctor and based on Wright’s promotional material that represented that the metal-on-metal hip implant was superior to implants made of polyethylene, and that it would last longer.
The plaintiff began having severe hip pain about six years after she received her hip implant (she had been told that her Wright hip replacement should last between 15 and 20 years). The surgeon who performed revision surgery in October 2012 to remove the implant found that the soft tissue around her implant had been damaged by metal debris from her implant. The plaintiff alleged that the revision surgery caused her additional physical and emotional pain and also resulted in economic loss.
Source In Re: Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation Case No. 1:13-cv-00297-WSD and MDL No. 2329 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.
The Wright Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant is just one of many metal-on-metal implants manufactured and marketed for joint replacements by many different companies, such as Stryker, DePuy, and Zimmer. Many lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States regarding allegedly defective metal-on-metal implants, contending that metal debris were released into surrounding tissue and the bloodstream, causing significant injury such as tissue necrosis and inflammation, leading to reduced mobility, severe pain, the need for painful revision surgery to remove the implant followed by extended rehabilitation, and causing both economic and noneconomic damages as a result of pre-mature failures.
If you or a family member may have a defective hip implant claim against Wright or another company, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney in your state who may advise you with regard to your defective hip implant claim.
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