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Bellwether Hip Implant Case Results in $11M Jury Award

Posted by Sarah Showard | Mar 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

Bellwether Hip Implant Case Results in $11M Jury Award

An Atlanta jury has awarded a woman $10 million in punitive damages and $1 million in compensatory damages for injuries she received following hip replacement surgery using the Wright Conserve Resurfacing Cup manufactured by Wright Medical Technology.

The bellwether trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, where multiple cases against Wright have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation, involved hip implant surgery performed on Robyn Christiansen, a Utah resident and former ski instructor.

Following implantation of the Wright Conserve Resurfacing Cup, Christiansen complained of severe pain and a grinding noise emitting from her groin. She had to undergo a second “revision” surgery to repair the problem. During the revision surgery, the surgeon found evidence of metallosis, which is an adverse reaction to the metal-on-metal action of the Wright implant that can cause tissue damage and pseudo tumors.

The Wright Conserve Resurfacing Cup's defect stems from the cobalt-chromium alloy used in the device. When a patient walks, the device -- which replicates the action of the replaced joint -- sheds pieces of the metal alloy into the body, triggering metallosis.

Approximately 2,000 cases against Wright have been consolidated in Georgia and California. Most plaintiffs complain of severe pain as well as strange sounds, loss of movement and swelling. Nearly all the cases required revision surgery to repair the problem; however, the device remains on the market.

In the Christiansen case, the jury concluded that the Conserve hip replacement implant device was “defectively designed” and “unreasonably dangerous.” The jury also found that Wright had made “negligent misrepresentations” about the device.

Surgeons and medical device manufacturers have largely abandoned metal-on-metal hip implant systems since 2012. A second bellwether trial is scheduled to begin this month in Los Angeles.

Showard Law Firm has represented numerous plaintiffs with hip implant claims. Contact us today for your free consultation.

About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.

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