A Follow Up to the $11 Million Award Against Wright Medical Conserve Hip Replacement System in First Bellwether Trial. Back in 2015, Parker Waichman LLP reported that the first bellwether trial resulted in a plaintiff receiving a jury award of $11 million in damages due to injuries associated with her Wright Medical Conserve Hip Replacement System. The award consisted of $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Hundreds of similar lawsuits are pending in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). The two-week trial ended on November 24, 2015.
By way of background, the plaintiff had originally received the hip replacement device in 2006. Afterwards, she suffered from a loosened and displaced acetabular cup resulting in a replacement surgery in 2012. At that time, the surgeon discovered signs of metal poisoning that lead to soft tissue damage as a result of the metal-on-metal device. As such, lawsuit alleged the device was defectively designed and that the company failed to notify surgeons or patients of the associated risks of using the hip replacement implant system.
As of November 2017, Wright Medical has agreed to pay out $240 million to settle approximately 1,300 lawsuits alleging Wright Medical’s all-metal implants – Conserve, Dynasty and Lineage hip replacement systems.
The Problem with Wright Medical’s Conserve Hip Replacement Systems
The Conserve Hip replacement parts are made of metal, allowing the metal ball to rub against the metal cup, causing metal shavings to break off and enter surrounding organs and tissues.
The troubled lines of company-made replacements named in the lawsuits are:
- Conserve Plus Total Resurfacing Hip System
- Conserve Femoral Surface (Head) Replacement
- Conserve Total A-Class Advanced Metal
- Conserve Total Hip System
The FDA warned the public about the risks and associated complications with metal-on-metal hip implant devices, but only after tens of thousands were implanted with Conserve prostheses. Metal-on-metal hip implants have a higher risk for complications than those systems with metal on polyethylene hip implants.
Recent Legal Developments
September 29, 2017- After an almost six-year fight in California and Georgia state courts, it was reported that a settlement had been reached regarding Wright Medical’s remaining eligible pending claims. While some limitations do exist, the settlement represents a solid victory for over six hundred pending claimants. Before the decision, Wright Medical had already settled over one thousand thirteen hundred claims by certain Wright Medical metal-on-metal hip implant claimants who had revision surgeries at least one hundred fifty days and no more than eight years after their original implant surgery.
A key issue in the settlement was whether or not Wright Medical could structure an acceptable plan to pay the settlements. During the negotiations with the manufacturer, it was decided that the respected court should dismiss any legal claims for non-revised Wright metal-on-metal hip implant systems under a tolling agreement, and the respective court should remand any plaintiffs who opted out of one of the three previous settlements.
The full amount of the second and third settlements is $89.75 million, bringing the entire settlement to $340 million. It was agreed that payouts over time were acceptable due to Wright’s financial situation. In fact, Wright announced that it is seeking to receive $35 million from its insurance carriers to help cover these significant settlement amounts.
When added to the initial settlement, the final settlement will cover all claims in the Multi-District Litigation, Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings, and on tolling agreements. But due to Wrights shaky finances, values will be discounted from the first Wright Medical hip settlement but will include standard awards as well as an Enhanced Injury Fund (EIF) to supplement more severe injuries.
Call for Your Free Wright Medical Conserve Hip Replacement System Case Review
If you experienced complications after having received a Wright Medical Conserve Hip Implant and wish to learn more about your legal rights, contact Parker Waichman LLP. Our attorneys will explain your legal rights and can help you fight to receive the compensation you deserve. Call Parker Waichman LLP at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).