June 2, 2015 — The first trial out of more than 1,200 lawsuits involving the Wright Profemur hip replacement is underway in Los Angeles, California.
The plaintiff, Alan Warner, says the implant failed suddenly in October 2010 when he went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. He has endured excruciating pain and undergone extensive revision surgery, Law360 reported.
Attorneys claim laser etchings weakened the implant and caused it to break after less than three years:
“The component snapped … and the reason he had so much pain is because basically he didn’t have a left hip joint. The joint became essentially nonfunctional.”
Warner’s implant broke on the stem of the implant, whereas most other lawsuits involving the Wright Profemur allege that it broke on the neck or leeched chromium and cobalt into the patient’s hip.
Wright has already settled a small number of lawsuits, including one federal case in California and another in Georgia that was supposed to go to trial in December 2013. About 600 lawsuits are pending in a coordinated litigation in California state-court, with hundreds more pending in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2329) in Georgia.
According to court documents, the majority of claims involve Wright Conserve hip replacements and the Profemur Z stem. This line of “metal-on-metal” implants have caused a number of complications, including metallosis (metal poisoning) and early failure of the implant requiring revision surgery.
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