Hip Implant Recipient Claims $11 Million Award was Correct


A Georgia federal court was urged not to dismiss an $11 million where the defendant argued that it was prejudiced by an earlier court decision. In a multidistrict litigation (MDL) bellwether case, a recipient of an allegedly defective metal hip implant was awarded $11 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Wright Medical Technology, reports Law360.

The plaintiff was one of many recipients of the Wright Conserve Hip Implant System who filed suit alleging the implantation of the hip device caused damage to soft tissue around the device. Her case had been chosen as the first bellwether trial in MDL in February 2012.

Wright Medical argued that the plaintiff had not produced sufficient evidence for a jury to find in her favor, however, the judge disagreed. In November, the plaintiff was awarded $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.

The company’s claimed that “irreconcilable inconsistencies” between the two verdicts showed that the jury was confused and further argued that the court had shown a bias against Wright Medical by instructing the jurors that they had incorrectly completed a question asking if the implant was defective. The company cited the jury’s misunderstanding instructions and providing multiple inconsistent answers, Law 360 reports.

The plaintiff stated that there was no reason to grant a new trial, as requested by Wright Medical Technology, and that, “the court acted within its sound discretion and authority.”