The first bellwether case is underway in the federal MDL involving metal-on-metal hip replacements manufactured by Wright Medical Technology Inc. Hundreds of federal metal hip lawsuits from around the country have been consolidated in Georgia before U.S. District Judge William S. Duffey Jr. The plaintiffs allege that Wright’s defective hip system created dangerously high levels of cobalt and chromium debris in the tissue surrounding the hip implant, causing the device to fail. When a hip implant fails, patients are required to undergo additional painful hip replacement surgeries. Around 440 cases involving Wright’s Conserve Hip Implant system reportedly are now pending in Georgia.
First Bellwether Case Concerning Wright Conserve Hip Implant Will Include Punitive Damages Claims
Judge Duffey has recently made important rulings about how the first Wright Conserve bellwether metal hip-implant trial will proceed. A bellwether case is a sort of test case that involves common issues in consolidated litigation involving hundreds or thousands of injured plaintiffs. It allows both sides to assess the likelihood that a jury will rule in the plaintiffs’ favor in the remaining cases. A bellwether case is often a useful tool for settling other cases.
Wright had argued that the opinions of the plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon were unreliable and could not be used by the plaintiff’s other expert witnesses. Judge Duffey rejected the defendant’s argument and ruled that the expert testimony of five of the plaintiff’s witnesses could be heard at trial.
The judge also rejected Wright’s argument that it could not be held responsible for decisions about the design and manufacture of its medical device, the Conserve Hip Implant system. The judge was persuaded by the plaintiff’s evidence that Wright does in fact play a role in those decisions.
The court also found that the plaintiff would be entitled to ask for both compensatory and punitive damages, based on the evidence about Wright’s involvement in the design and manufacture of the Conserve Hip Implant system and its knowledge of the risks.
Contact Waters Kraus & Paul to Learn More About Filing a Medical Deivce Lawsuit
Waters Kraus & Paul is a national plaintiffs’ law firm devoted to helping families in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving unsafe medical devices. We represent people who have been devastated by metal-on-metal hip implants manufactured by a number of companies, including Stryker, Zimmer, Biomet and DePuy. If you have suffered injuries or the death of a loved one associated with medical devices or implants, contact us by email or call us at 800.226.9880. Speak with one of our lawyers, like Sara Coopwood in the firm’s Texas office to learn more about how we can assist you with a metal-on-metal hip replacement lawsuit or claim.