Over the past couple of years, I have written about some of the problems involving Wright Profemur Hip Implants. A few cases have settled but nothing game changing that has an impact on the settlement value of the Wright hip implant cases. But a big verdict in California sends a huge message that impacts the settlement value of these claims.
$4.5 Million Verdict
Wright is currently defending around 1,200 metal hip implant cases throughout various courts across the United States. The first of such to go to trial netted a big verdict for the plaintiff, perhaps giving Wright a taste of what is coming if more go to trial. If this case is any indication, they can expect financial pain.
This case was a little different than some of the other cases against Wright, which claimed that the metal components in their implants grind together and release toxins into the blood. The plaintiff here claimed that the hip implant was defectively manufactured and caused him injury. Specifically, he claimed that while he was standing in his kitchen, the hip suddenly snapped causing him serious difficulties. Plaintiff’s attorneys claimed that a laser orientation mark was engraved too deeply within the device, causing it to be mechanically unsound. The device, which is supposed to last for well over a decade, broke within three years so there was obviously some sort of manufacturing defect here.
The plaintiff’s scenario was really unfortunate; he required over fourteen surgeries and had to deal with years of infections and dislocations. To top it all off, Wright never really offered him a fair settlement either, with their highest offer being $455,000. At trial, they tried to pass the blame on to the surgeon who placed the device in the plaintiff’s body. Classic medical device manufacturer move: blame the doctor or anyone else in range. But the plaintiff’s counsel drew attention to the fact that Wright essentially used the surgeon in this case as their “in house” surgeon to use their implants and train others on how to place them. So really, their argument was that the guy who is literally the most familiar with their implants and how they work was unfamiliar with how to use them.
Otherwise this was, as you would expect, a pretty expert heavy case with the bulk of the arguments concerning how Plaintiff or Defendant’s experts. In the end, the jury got it right. The other 1,199 cases are currently pending in either California state court or in Multidistrict Litigation before a Georgia federal court.
Hip Implant Problems
Issues regarding metal on metal hip implants have been fairly widespread. There have been a number of lawsuits involving Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip systems, among others. Most of these lawsuits involve claims that their designs are prone to corrosion and fracture in the neck of the femoral stem which is obviously something that patients did not expect nor were they warned about. These issues have raised eyebrows at the FDA, who has been investigating metal-on-metal implants since around 2011. They specifically received a heads-up that the chromium/cobalt ball and cup caused devices to shed little pieces of metal into the tissue and bloodstream. Naturally, the companies have been trying to downplay the issue, suggesting that it was not as serious as it seems. However, this latest verdict just goes to show that juries are ready and willing to dole out some serious coin for these cases. This will hopefully make companies light Wright more willing to settle cases down the road. It may even convince some plaintiffs — and their lawyers – to keep slugging it out if they are on the fence about accepting a so-so settlement.
If You Have a Claim
If you have a claim, time might be running out. It could already have run out. You need to act quickly. Call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.