In a filing in Georgia federal court, Wright Medical Technology, Inc. is fighting for a new trial after being slapped with an $11 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff, Robyn Christiansen. The verdict was a result of multidistrict litigation in a bellwether trial over faulty metal-on-metal hip implants that are allegedly causing injury to patients. Wright argues that when the jury was asked to reconsider their original findings that the device wasn’t defective, they became confused, and arrived at an unfair verdict.
But plaintiff Robyn Christiansen, a former ski instructor, insists that the $11 million award is correct. After being advised by doctors that the all-metal Wright Conserve Hip Implant System would be a better choice for her level of physical activity than a traditional ceramic or plastic implant, Christiansen went forward with the surgery and was implanted with the device. Shortly after, she began sustaining injuries she alleged were linked to the device that put a hitch in her active lifestyle.
There have been more than 10 bellwether hip implant lawsuit cases involving this particular Wright hip implant system. The complaints allege the device was defectively designed and damages soft tissue near the device.
On Friday, Wright argued that there was “no logical explanation” as to why the jury would arrive at their conclusion, after initially finding that the device was not defective, then later changing their view. Wright accused the jury of “bias” with “irreconcilable inconsistencies.”
At first Wright Medical had argued that Christiansen hadn’t produced enough evidence for the jury to make a fair verdict in her favor. However, the judge disagreed and ruled to allow the case to proceed to trial.
In November, the jury sided with Christiansen. Their verdict awarded Christiansen $1 million in compensatory damages and another $10 million in punitive damages.