Wright Conserve Hip Litigation Centralized in MDL

A panel of federal judges has ordered that all federal Wright Conserve hip replacement lawsuits be transferred to one judge for coordinated pre-trial proceedings as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.  

On February 8, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized the Wright Conserve hip litigation before U.S. District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The move will affect four lawsuits that are currently filed in Arizona, California, Georgia and Utah, but there are another 16 cases filed throughout the country that are also likely to be transferred to the MDL and the number of lawsuits is expected to continue to grow as Wright hip replacement lawyers continue to investigate and review potential cases.

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All of the complaints allege that Wright Medical Technology manufactured a defective metal-on-metal hip implant, known as the Conserve Plus, and failed to warn patients about the potential risk that the device may fail within a few years of surgery. Plaintiffs say that the Conserve acetabular cup has a tendency to loosen and fail as metal particles are shed into the body from the metal parts rubbing against each other.

Wright Medical and one other plaintiff argued against consolidation. The company claimed that there were not enough cases to warrant the creation of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation. Another plaintiff suggested that all of the cases do not involve common questions of fact, since there were various different components used in the different hip replacement implants.

The court disagreed and determined that centralization would prevent duplicative discovery and contradictory pretrial rulings by different judges. Only one claim was excluded from the MDL for not being a good fit with the other cases.

Since the FDA approved the Wright metal-on-metal hip replacement system under their controversial 510(k) approval system, more than 200 adverse event reports have been submitted by patients or physicians, which likely only represents a fraction of the total number of problems with Wright hip replacements.

The Wright Conserve hip system is a metal-on-metal design, which consists of cast cobalt chromium molybdenum that provides the receptacle for the cobalt chromium molybdenum femoral head. The metal femoral head rotates within the metal monoblock Conserve Cup, which does not have a liner, resulting in the release of metal particles that can cause metal toxicity in the blood, soft tissue and bone. This can result in metallosis, tissue necrosis, pseudotumors and other problems, according to the complaints.

In addition to the Conserve system, a number of consumers have filed complaints over problems with the Wright Profemur hip replacement, which involves a femoral stem that may be prone to fracture, break, degrade, fret and ultimately fail, according to allegations raised in a number of other lawsuits.

1 Comments

  • HowardFebruary 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Has anyone filed suit against Smith & Nephew for their Birmingham Hip Resurfacing hip ? This device is metal on metal device that was approved for marketing in the USA in 2006, after first being denied approval in 2004. Metal on metal appears to be potentially hazardous to one's health. Why are all of these MOM hip devices shelved ? I lived a great healthy, active life before my BHR was put in[Show More]Has anyone filed suit against Smith & Nephew for their Birmingham Hip Resurfacing hip ? This device is metal on metal device that was approved for marketing in the USA in 2006, after first being denied approval in 2004. Metal on metal appears to be potentially hazardous to one's health. Why are all of these MOM hip devices shelved ? I lived a great healthy, active life before my BHR was put into me; now I am in a wheelchair. Thank you for any response. Howard Sadwin

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