By Emily Wasserman
Wright Medical ($WMGI) was dealt a stinging blow in its courtroom battle over its metal hip implant devices, as a jury awarded a plaintiff $11 million in a bellwether trial over the products.
An Atlanta jury found after a two-week trial and three days of deliberations that the plaintiff had a defective hip implant and that Wright misrepresented the device’s safety, Lawyers and Settlements reports. The $11 million verdict, which includes $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages, marks an early loss for Wright in federal multidistrict litigation over its implants. The Amsterdam-based devicemaker still faces hundreds of cases filed before U.S. District Judge William Duffey in the Northern District of Georgia, according to the Reuters story.
The legal drama dates back to 2013, when Robyn Christiansen, a former ski instructor from Utah, filed suit against Wright claiming that her Conserve hip implant came loose and caused tissue damage. Christiansen got the implant in 2006 after talking to her doctor and considering information provided by Wright, which said that the company’s metal-on-metal device was better than implants made with a polyethylene lining and that it would last longer, Lawyers and Settlements reports.