On February 8, 2012, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“JPML”) ordered that all Wright Medical hip lawsuits involving the Wright Conserve metal-on-metal hip system pending in federal courts nationwide be consolidated and centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and assigned to Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. In reaching its decision to consolidate these particular Wright Medical hip lawsuits, the JPML reasoned that most of the “plaintiffs’ claims focus upon the metal-on-metal design of the Wright Conserve products and the alleged propensity of the devices to generate high levels of metal debris, cause metallosis in the surrounding tissue and/or fail early (including loosening of the acetabular cup).” The JPML further stated that because the “actions share factual questions concerning design, manufacture, marketing and performance of Wright’s Conserve line of hip implant products,” consolidation is warranted. In addition to four lawsuits currently pending in Arizona, California, Georgia and Utah, the JPML also recognized 16 potential tag-along actions that are likely to be transferred to the MDL. However, the number of lawsuits is likely to mount as lawyers continue to investigate potential Wright Medical hip lawsuits and review potential new cases regarding the Wright metal-on-metal hip systems.

Wright Medical Hip Lawsuits Echo Allegations In Other Metal-On-Metal Hip System Lawsuits

This is the third time that the JPML has ordered that lawsuits involving metal-on-metal hip systems be consolidated and centralized. In August 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson issued a worldwide hip recall of its ASR hip implants. Since that time, complications associated with metal-on-metal hip systems have been widely publicized. Moreover, many individuals who experienced hip replacement failure or sustained injuries caused by metal hip implants have filed lawsuits against medical device manufacturers. In December 2010, the JPML ordered that all lawsuits involving the recalled DePuy ASR metal-on-metal hip systems be consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Thereafter, in May 2011, the JPML ordered that all lawsuits involving DePuy’s Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip system be consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Discovery in both DePuy hip litigations is currently underway. Currently, DePuy is defending more than 5,000 hip replacement lawsuits.

Although all three consolidated litigations involve metal-on-metal hip systems, neither the Wright Medical hip lawsuits nor the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip lawsuits are based on a recall. However, the complaints involving the Wright Medical hip replacement metal-on-metal systems allege that the devices were defectively designed and that the manufacturer failed to warn patients about the possibility of early hip replacement failure. DePuy is defending against similar allegations in both the ASR and Pinnacle litigations. All three metal-on-metal hip systems received market approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration through the widely-criticized 510(k) process.

How To File A Wright Medical Hip Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one had hip replacement surgery and received a Wright Conserve metal-on-metal hip system, you may be able to file a Wright Medical hip lawsuit seeking compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. Contact one of our lawyers today for a free and confidential Wright Medical hip lawsuit evaluation. The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP have extensive litigation experience, and have recovered billions of dollars for their clients. In addition to being staunch advocates for your claim, our hip replacement injury lawyers also provide personal attention to guide you through the complex litigation process.

Published March 13, 2012 by