$11 Million Awarded In Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit Filed Against Wright Medical


Wright & Schulte LLC Is Representing Men And Women Across the Country in Metal Hip Replacement Lawsuit Claims After Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Systems Have Failed, And Allegedly Resulted in Metal Poisoning and Revision Surgeries.

Metal-Hip-Replacement-Implant-Lawsuit-_-DePuy-ASR-XL,-Litigation,-Recall,-MDLA federal court jury has ordered Wright Medical to pay $11 million in a metal hip replacement lawsuit. The metal hip complaint was filed by a Utah woman who was injured by the company’s metal-on-metal Conserve replacement hip. The two-week jury trial was held at the U.S. District Court, District of Georgia in Atlanta where metal-on-metal hip lawsuits against Wright Medical are pending in multidistrict litigation.

The plaintiff said she had the Conserve replacement hip implant in 2006, but the prothesis loosened and dislodged, and caused severe pain. Six years later, she underwent revision surgery and her doctor found the soft tissue surrounding the implant showed signs of metal poisoning and inflammation of the joint-lining membrane. The jury award included $1 million in compensation to the plaintiff and $11 million in punitive damages against Wright Medical. (Case No. 1:13-cv-00297)

Metal-on-Metal artificial hip systems consist of a metal ball (femoral head), a metal femoral stem in the thighbone, and a metal cup in the hip bone (acetabular component). The ball attaches to the taper of the stem. The metal ball and the metal cup slide against each other when a hip implant recipient is walking or running. Over time, tiny metal particles may wear off of the device and fall into the space around the implant. Wear and corrosion between the metal ball and taper of the stem may also occur. The metal debris can cause damage to the soft tissue surrounding the implant which may lead to pain, implant loosening and implant failure. The adverse reaction to metal debris may cause some implant recipients to undergo another surgery to remove the artificial hip device.
[fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ImplantsandProsthetics/MetalonMetalHipImplants, FDA, April 10, 2015]

In June 2012, Stryker recalled its Rejuvenate and ABG II hip stems systems after receiving reports of corrosion and fretting. Stryker explained, at the time, that the chromium and cobalt neck components, and the titanium-coated stems wear against each other and generate metallic debris. As a result, the debris was being released into the recipient’s bloodstream or tissue surrounding the implant, which caused adverse local tissue reactions, swelling, persistent pain and other complications.

Due to metal debris generated from the devices, the FDA issued a warning in January 2013 that metal-on-metal hip implant recipients were at risk for premature device failure. The federal regulator advised patients to undergo blood tests to determine whether they had excessive levels of metal ions in their blood. The agency also imposed new rules that required manufacturers with metal-on-metal hip replacement systems to conduct post-market safety studies on their products if they wanted to continue selling them in the United States.

As a result of the issues involving metal-on-metal hip replacement systems, artificial hip manufacturers, including Stryker, DuPuy, and Wright Medical, were sued by hip implant recipients. All federal lawsuits against DePuy’s ASR Hip Implant Systems were consolidated in the U.S. District Court, District of Northern Ohio. In November 2013, DePuy agreed to pay $2.5 billion to recipients who underwent revision surgery as of August 31, 2013. (In re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation – MDL 2197) Lawsuits filed against DePuy’s Pinnacle Hip Implants were filed in the Northern District of Texas. (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2244)

All federally filed artificial hip complaints against Stryker were consolidated in the District Court of Minnesota. In November 2014, Stryker announced that it would pay a minimum of $1.43 billion to settle state and federal claims of hip implant recipients who had revision surgery to replace their Rejuvenate Modular Neck or ABG II Modular Neck Hip Stems prior to November 3, 2014, the date of the settlement agreement.(In Re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, No. 2441)

All of the artificial hip replacement complaints have common allegations of the metal-on-metal systems prematurely failing and causing the plaintiffs to suffer serious injuries, including metal poisoning, bone loss, tissue damage and the need to have revision surgery.

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