$11 Million Verdict in Wright Medical Conserve Hip Trial
November 24, 2015- An Atlanta federal jury awarded $11 million in favor of Plaintiff Robyn Christiansen in the first bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for claims of product liability and misrepresentation. The federal jury reached its verdict after a two-week trial and three days of deliberations, stating that Wright Medical was liable for negligent misrepresentations regarding the defective design of their Conserve metal-on-metal hip device. The verdict awarded $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages- finding that Wright Medical demonstrated reckless indifference and disregarded the safety of patients, such as Robyn Christiansen.
Ms. Christiansen was implanted with the Wright Medical Conserve Plus in April 2006 but the device failed after only six years. In October 2012, she was forced to undergo revision surgery to remove the defective device from her body. During the revision surgery, Ms. Christiansen’s surgeon found fluid buildup, tissue necrosis and metallosis. The procedure included removal of soft tissue damaged by metal debris released into the surrounding tissue and bloodstream from the metal-on-metal device. Ms. Christiansen was a former ski instructor for almost 50 years and is now limited in her activities-suffering from her injuries and enduring a long and painful recovery.
Ms. Christiansen’s case was the first to go to trial among hundreds of cases consolidated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia before the Honorable Judge William Duffey. There are more than 300 similar lawsuits filed against Wright Medical claiming the plaintiffs suffered significant injuries from Wright Medical Conserve’s unreasonably dangerous and defective design.
The case is In re: Wright Medical Technology Inc., Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2329, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.