Wright Medical: $240 Million Metal-on-Metal Hip Settlement

Jury Award Legal decision

On November 1, 2016, under a Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), Wright Medical Technology, Inc., reached a $240 million settlement agreement for nearly 1,300 product liability lawsuits filed by individuals nationwide over its metal-on-metal hip implants.

The settlement agreement would apply to any case that is pending or tolled as part of the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) or part of a California mass tort known as a Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding (JCCP), which are:

  • In Re: Wright Medical Technology, Inc., CONSERVE ® hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2329 (MDL)
  • In re: Wright Hip System Cases, Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding No. 4710 (JCCP).

Wright Medical Press Release, dated November 2, 2016, announces metal-on-metal hip litigation settlement agreement.

What You Need to Know

Wright Medical and the lawyers representing the plaintiffs agreed to settle 1,292 revision claims concerning its Conserve, Dynasty or Lineage hip implants.

hip skeletonTo be eligible, the claimant must have:

  • A pending or tolled case in the MDL or JCCP listed above
  • Undergone a revision surgery within eight years of the original implantation surgery
  • Not been identified as having potential statute of limitation issues

Wright will settle for up to $240 million. Of this, $180 million will be funded from cash on hand and $60 million will be funded from insurance recoveries.

Wright Medical has agreed to escrow $150 million to secure its obligations under the MSA, and its parent corporation, Wright Medical Group N.V., has agreed to guaranty Wright Medical’s obligations under the MSA.

The settlement requires a 95% opt-in clause. This means that 95% of eligible plaintiffs must agree to participate for the settlement to move forward. If more than 5% of eligible plaintiffs opt out, Wright Medical will void the settlement.

Unfortunately, even if the agreement is approved, it still leaves several hundred cases pending.

Wright Medical has said it will “vigorously defend” any claims that were not settled. The company estimates that as of September 26, 2016, there are approximately 600 cases that will not be included in the settlement, which include:

  • 200 cases where the recipient had the implant for longer than eight years
  • 300 cases that the manufacturer claims are outside the statute of limitations
  • 30 cases filed in other states or are not part of the MDL
  • 50 filed outside of the United States

There are an additional 700 lawsuits where the individual did not undergo revision surgery, which are also not included in the settlement.

Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.

About Wright Medical Hip Implant Lawsuits

All Wright Conserve lawsuits filed through the federal court system since February 2012 have been centralized in an MDL before U.S. District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. in the Northern District of Georgia.

Each of the complaints claimed that the metal-on-metal design causes microscopic debris to be released during normal daily activities, which may cause the implant to fail within a few years rather than the 15 to 20 years they are expected to last.

Plaintiffs indicated they experienced catastrophic failure resulting in the need for revision surgery to remove and replace the metal-on-metal hip implant.

Wright Medical lost an $11 million verdict in the first Conserve bellwether lawsuit last year, which included $10 million in punitive damages. A later ruling reduced this verdict to just over $2 million.

Hip Implant Lawsuits on the Horizon

Hip implant cases have emerged stemming from a recent Stryker LFit V40 recall issued due to a high rate of problems with regards to the femoral head. These problems affect Stryker’s Accolade, Meridian, Citation and other hip implant systems.

Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.

Receive a Free Evaluation from Experienced Product Liability Attorneys

The attorneys at Nash & Franciskato have extensive experience handling hip replacement litigation and are very familiar with Wright Medical and their products. If you have questions about your hip implant, contact us for a free, no-obligation review of your case.

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