As per an order issued this September by the U.S. judge overseeing all Wright hip lawsuits involving the Wright Conserve hip replacement systems, Wright Medical must now also produce all documents related to the problems associated with its line of Profemur modular-neck hip stems.

This order, signed by Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. on Sept. 4, 2012 came several months after the U.S. District Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all lawsuits involving the company’s Conserve hip implant into the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. This action was taken in February 2012.

Plaintiffs who have requested that Wright Medical produce these documents argue that the Profemur neck stem is directly related to the flawed design of the Conserve’s metal-on-metal replacement system. Previously, Wright Medical resisted producing these documents because they felt they were irrelevant to proceedings involving the Conserve.

So how is it they relate? According to plaintiffs, one of the complaints filed in the Wright Conserve multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) derives from complications stemming from the interaction between the Profemur neck and Conserve metal cup hip replacement system. In this complaint, the plaintiff is alleging that the modular-neck junction common to both devices is the component that has the potential to corrode, which can lead to metal ion poisoning in its recipients. In turn, this may leave the patient in pain, swollen, and with pseudo tumors.

In Judge Duffey’s decision to issue this order, he agreed with plaintiffs, saying they are entitled to any documents related to the design of the implant they are filing their lawsuits over, as well as information noting the investigation of any fretting, corrosion and other side effects associated with the Wright Conserve implant.

Judge Duffey also told plaintiffs they could seek to obtain any compensation Wright Medical might have granted consultants or physicians who helped design, test and evaluate the implants before they were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).

Both lawsuits in question were filed on behalf of patients who incurred metal contamination and poisoning as a result of being implanted with the Wright Conserve hip replacement.

Published October 18, 2012 by