In a multidistrict litigation (MDL) bellwether trial, a recipient of an allegedly defective metal hip implant maintained that her suit against Wright Medical Technology, received a verdict that was correct. The jury awarded the plaintiff $11 million: $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, Law 360 reports.
Wright Medical Technology Inc. argued that the jury had misunderstood instructions and had provided multiple inconsistent answers. The jurors had voted unanimously that the hip implant was not defective, but at the same time, found the defendant liable for negligent misrepresentation. Thereby, the jury upheld their decision to award the $11 million in damages, according to Law360.
The plaintiff’s case was selected as the first bellwether trial in this litigation in February 2012. She was one of numerous recipients of the Wright Conserve Hip Implant System which allegedly causes damage to soft tissue surrounding the implanted device.
Given the inconsistencies and alleged confusion surrounding the jury’s deliberation, Wright Medical Technology company contested the validity of the verdict, but the judge disagreed and sided with the plaintiff awarding her the originally established $11 million in damages, Law360 reports.
Wright argued that the plaintiff did not prove that the company’s actions were “knowing and reckless” as required by Utah state law which governed this claim. Their objections were countered by the plaintiff’s statement that “the jury’s punitive damages awarded was proper, and saying the company’s gross negligence justifies punitive damages and that the amount of the award was justified.”