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Third Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant MDL Established, This Time for Wright Conserve Hip Replacement Devices

Mar 20, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

Another federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been established for lawsuits involving metal-on-metal hip implant devices.  Claims involving the Wright Conserve hip-replacement system have been consolidated and transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  All of the lawsuits in that litigation revolve around the all-metal design of the Wright Conserve devices, and allege they are prone to the generation of high levels of metal debris, cause metallosis in the surrounding tissue and premature failure.

The Wright Conserve hip implant lawsuit consolidation brings to three the number of pending federal MDLs involving metal-on-metal hip implants.  Litigation consolidated in the Northern District of Ohio encompasses lawsuits naming the DePuy ASR hip implant, which was recalled by the company in August 2010.  An MDL in the Northern District of Texas has been established for lawsuits involving an all-metal version of DePuy's Pinnacle Hip Implant System.

The Wright Conserve hip-replacement system includes:

•    Conserve Femoral Surface Replacement
•    Conserve Plus Total Resurfacing Hip System
•    Conserve Total A-Class Advanced Metal

Like other metal-on-metal hip implant devices, the Wright Conserve hip replacements were approved via the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) 510(k) approval protocols, which do not require human testing if a device is shown to be "substantially equivalent" to a product already on the market.

Wright Medical was one of 21 device companies subject to an FDA order issued last May requiring that they conduct postmarket safety studies of their metal-on-metal hip implants to determine if they were shedding dangerous amounts of metallic debris in patients.

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