Wright Medical Technology Settles 1,300 Hip Implant Cases for $240 million

Wright-Medical_Hip_RecallsWright Medical Technology agreed on Nov. 2 to settle 1,292 claims in consolidated litigation in Georgia federal court and California state court for $240 million, putting an end to the majority of the suits over the implants.

According to Law360, patients who had revision surgery within eight years of their original Conserve, Lineage or Dynasty hip implant are eligible for the settlement.

  • Those implanted with the Conserve Cup —  the device with the most frequent failures — can receive $170,000
  • Those who had the metal-liner Dynasty and Lineage devices can recoup $120,000, according to a statement from the plaintiffs’ leadership counsel.

As of September, there are about 600 metal-on-metal hip implant revision claims that won’t be included in the settlement, as well as 700 metal-on-metal hip implant non-revision claims that are likewise included in the settlement, according to the company.

Federal MDL

The cases are In re: Wright Medical Technology Inc., Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:12-md-02329, before U.S. District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. in the Northern District of Georgia. The MDL was formed in February 2012 when there were only five active actions.

The state litigation is In re: Wright Hip System Cases, Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No. 4710, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

The first bellwether trial in the multidistrict litigation in Georgia federal court ended in a $11 million verdict last November for the plaintiff, Robyn Christiansen, but that verdict was later slashed by $9 million.

Judge Duffey left intact the $1 million in compensatory damages the jury awarded to Christiansen for complications arising from her Wright Conserve Hip Implant System, but knocked the punitive damages award from $10 million down to $1.1 million.

The judge concluded that while the company may have mislead doctors and consumers about the safety of the hip system, at least part of its motivation was also to improve the quality of life for active patients by providing an innovative hip system at a time when the market was full of products that failed regularly.

Other consolidated federal hip litigations include:

  • MDL 2391, In re: Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation — 535 cases before Sr. District Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr.

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