November 3, 2016 — Wright Medical Technology has offered to settle about 2,000 lawsuits involving metal-on-metal hip implants for $240 million.
Under the settlement, 1,292 people who were implanted with the Conserve, Lineage, or Dynasty hip implants and needed revision surgery within 8 years are eligible for compensation.
The settlement would also provide some compensation to 700 people who were implanted with those devices but did not need revision surgery, according to Law360.
The settlement excludes approximately 600 cases, which means it will cover 85% of the total 2,300 pending claims against Wright. The company agreed to pay $180 million in cash and cover the remaining $60 million using insurance.
The agreement was announced nearly one year after Wright lost the first “bellwether” trial over the Conserve. A federal jury in Georgia awarded $11 million to a ski instructor who was permanently disabled.
Earlier this year, the federal judge overseeing the trial slashed the award to just $2 million. Wright wants the verdict overturned because the jury mistakenly checked a box on a form indicating that the implant was not defective.
Part of the judge’s reasoning for cutting $9 million off the verdict was that he thought Wright was trying to help patients by marketing metal-on-metal hip implants as more durable, longer-lasting, and ideal for younger and more physically-active patients.
Only after many of those patients were permanently disabled did studies find serious problems with metal-on-metal hip replacements. The FDA has issued numerous warnings about metallosis, systemic reactions, and other “unique” side effects of the design.
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