Wright Medical Conserve Hip Litigation Transferred to MDL

On February 8, 2012, the United States Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (“JPML”) transferred four cases involving the Wright Medical Conserve Hip Implant System to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The JPML held that the actions filed against Wright Medical involve common questions of fact, and that centralization will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation. All of the actions share factual questions concerning the design, manufacture, marketing and performance of Wright Medical’s Conserve Hip Implant System and related products.

Pope McGlamry Attorneys Petition to Centralize Wright Conserve Cases

The JPML’s transfer to the Northern District of Georgia is in response to a Pope McGlamry petition to the JPML for centralization of cases involving Wright Medical’s Conserve Hip Implant System. On November 29, 2011, lawyers at Pope McGlamry took the lead in the hip implant litigation against Wright Medical by petitioning the JPML for centralization. Centralization of the Conserve Hip Implant System cases will help resolve discovery issues in a swift and organized manner in what could potentially be a substantial number of cases. The Wright Medical Conserve Cup features a similar design to the DePuy ASR Cup, which was recalled in August 2010 after medical data suggested that a higher-than-expected number of people had their artificial hip fail within a few years resulting in revision surgery.

The JPML’s transfer affects four lawsuits that are currently filed in Arizona, California, Georgia and Utah, but there are at least another 16 cases filed throughout the United States that are likely to be transferred to the MDL as the number of lawsuits involving Wright Medical’s Conserve Hip Implant System is expected to continue to grow.

Problems With Wright Conserve Hip

All of the complaints allege that Wright Medical 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 causing serious medical problems and the need of revision 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 of Wright Medical’s Conserve Hip Implant System rubbing against each other.

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 Medical hip replacements. In May 2011, the FDA asked Wright Medical and other metal-on-metal hip makers such as DePuy, Stryker and Zimmer, to obtain more information about the level at which the metal particles released by hip replacements becomes dangerous, how much metal they actually release and to quantify the potential side effects of metallosis.

The Wright Conserve Hip Implant 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.

Contact Pope McGlamry

If you or a loved one had a Wright Conserve Hip System implanted and have suffered complications, or experienced a hip replacement failure requiring revision surgery, you may be entitled to recover significant damages from the defective product manufacturer, Wright Medical.

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