Wright Medical Group, a medical device manufacturing company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, has entered into a settlement over litigation involving its metal-on-metal hip implants.
The litigation included 1,292 claims that the company’s Conserve, Dynasty or Lineage hip implants resulted in revision surgeries. Wright also estimates that about 600 cases won’t be included in the settlement, and has stated that it will “vigorously defend” those that weren’t settled.
The settlement is for an eye-popping $240 million – $60 million going to insurance recoveries, and $180 million to be paid in cash.
Robert Palmisano, Wright’s own CEO, said he was glad to reach the settlement so that the company could focus on its extremities and biologics business. According to Palmisano, the business is experiencing “excellent growth” with its biologics’ Augment Bone Graft system and extremities’ new shoulder and ankle systems. The company has just recently sold and walked away from its large joints division, mostly consisting of hip and knee devices.
Robyn Christiansen was the first bellwether trial case in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) surrounding the hip implants. After Christiansen received a Wright Conserve Hip Implant System, she says she began to suffer painful injuries, which she blamed on the failing device. Her active lifestyle came to a halt as a result.
In November of 2015 the jury in that case sided with Christiansen in an $11 million verdict against Wright – awarding $1 million in compensatory damages and another $10 million in punitive damages. Although Wright fought the verdict, going as far as pushing for a retrial, the judge continued to side with the Plaintiff, saying that the company “misled doctors and consumers about the safety of the hip system.”