WRIGHT MEDICAL HIP REPLACEMENT LAWSUITS
Despite the promise of improved mobility and quality of life, metal on metal hips, including several implants manufactured by Wright Medical Technology Inc., have created quite the opposite effect. Wright hip implant recipients are now coming forward, alleging that the devices have caused debilitating injuries and substantial pain and suffering. Wright is now facing lawsuits alleging the hip devices led to metallosis (metal toxicity), infections, and bone and tissue damage.
Patients who have been injured by defective hip implants often experience significant pain, along with life-threatening infections and the inability to walk. These injuries are painful and may require several major surgeries. It is also common to develop heart, kidney, neurological, psychological and thyroid problems. These health problems make patients unable to work, leading to trouble meeting their financial obligations and other serious life issues. This has led patients to file lawsuits seeking compensation from Wright.
In these lawsuits, as with other metal on metal hip recipients, patients of Wright’s hip replacement system are alleging that their devices failed prematurely and created the need for revision surgery. It is also alleged that the defective design of metal-on-metal devices from Wright’s ‘Conserve’ product line led to early device failure and the release of metal ions into the body. This happens when the metal components rub against each other and release metal particles into the body.
Wright CONSERVE cases have been consolidated to the U.S. District Court for the North District of Georgia. There are hundreds of cases in this Multi District Litigation (MDL). The following Wright devices are consolidated in the MDL:
• Conserve Femoral Hip Surface Replacement • Conserve Plus Total Resurfacing Hip System • Conserve Total A-Class Advanced Metal • Conserve Total Hip System
There is currently no major settlement program for Wright hips. However, several facts suggest to us that Wright will eventually settle. First, the company has settled at least one case. Second, after a federal investigation that started in 2007, the U.S. government sued Wright Medical for bribing doctors to use their products. Wright Medical agreed to pay $7.9 million in fines in 2011. Third, there have been several verdicts against Wright. In June of 2015, a jury awarded $4.5 million. In November, 2015, a jury awarded $1 million dollars in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages against Wright. The Court subsequently reduced the total amount to $2.1 million, which Wright is appealing. Nevertheless, it is the hope of TheLawFirm.com that Wright begins to settle these cases.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by defective metal on metal hip implants, contact TheLawFirm.com for a free case consultation.
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Wright Medical Hip Settlements
December 7, 2017
The majority of remaining claims against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for the Conserve metal-on-metal hip implants in MDL 2329 are now subject to a “comprehensive” settlement. This MDL has been ongoing in the US District Court of Georgia since 2012.
The settlement comes after an $11 million verdict in 2015. This was $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. It is believed that Wright settled the majority of the remaining claims to avoid the risk of future large verdicts like this as well as avoiding disputes with insurance companies over payment.
Wright disclosed the settlement in 3rd quarter SEC filings, where the company said its maximum liability will not exceed $89.75 million. The settlement depends on availability of new insurance proceeds from the company’s insurance carriers.
The payouts will come in three agreed upon outlays. The final payment is scheduled for September 2019. This is not a schedule that the attorneys at TheLawFirm.com are happy with, as we feel this is far too long. For patients to be eligible for settlement they must have a claim filed as well as undergone a revision surgery for a Conserve, Dynasty or Lineage metal on metal hip.
This hip settlement covers just over 600 eligible claims. There are just under 50 claims left in US Courts. Some of these cases are clients represented by the attorneys at TheLawFirm.com. We feel that the agreement did not adequately compensate some of our more seriously injured clients. Some of these injuries include metallosis, a condition where metal particles are absorbed into the body due to the interaction of the cobalt and chromium. Due to the severe injuries, metal-on-metal hips remain controversial for impacting the health and lives of thousands of patients who’ve received metal on metal implants.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against metal on metal manufacturers. In addition to Wright Medical, claims have been filed against Zimmer Holding’s Durom Hip Cup, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.’s ASR Hip Implant, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.’s Pinnacle Hip Implant and Biomet, Inc.’s M2a Magnum Hip Implant.
DePuy reached a multi-billion-dollar settlement with patients implanted with the ASR system. DePuy Orthopaedics remains deeply embroiled in hip litigation in Texas, where a jury recently awarded over $200 million in damages.
Despite this Wright settlement, metal-on-metal hip litigation will not going away anytime soon. Some Wright cases remain and many metal on metal hips, as outlined above, remain in MDL’s. Additionally, there are new hip implant MDL consolidations being added such as the Stryker LFIT V40 and the Smith & Nephew BHR & R3.
The attorneys at TheLawFirm.com will continue to be involved in the many ongoing metal on metal hip implant legal disputes. While we are pleased that Wright, at least, has begun to compensate some of our clients, we remain disappointed with the failure of other manufacturers to come to the settlement table.
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