Federal lawsuits against Wright Medical Technology, a manufacturer of metal-on-metal hip-replacement is now being consolidated in Multi district Litigation (MDL). Wright Medical Technology’s Conserve Plus implants are under assault for causing injuries similar to those produced by the DePuy ASR and Pinnacle metal on metal hip system.
This is one of three MDLs organized to consolidate pre-trial proceedings for plaintiffs suing over dangerous and defective metal on metal hip implants. The Wright Conserve MDL has been consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
DePuy ASR MDL
In the United States, more than 3,500 lawsuits have been filed over DePuy ASR hip metal on metal replacement systems, and litigation has been underway over the past 18 months in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The DePuy ASR hips were recalled by Johnson and Johnson in August 2010.
DePuy Pinnacle MDL
In the Northern District of Texas, Dallas, another MDL has been organized for more than 900 patients filing suits over the DePuy Pinnacle hip replacement metal on metal systems. These DePuy Pinnacle metal on metal hips have yet not been recalled. Johnson and Johnson considers the DePuy Pinnacle to be their flagship product.
Wright Metallosis and Early Replacement
Plaintiffs allege that they were not warned about the real risk of early failure of the medical devices. Additionally, they have suffered from metallosis, a medical condition of high blood levels of chromium and colbalt. This occurs as a result of metal particles produced when the metal ball and metal socket of the hip implant grind against each other. The metal particles also damage local muscle and tissue, and may lead to cancer.
The National Joint Registry for England and Wales released its Eighth Annual Report in September 2011 and found that Wright Conserve’s revision rates were second only to the ASR devices manufactured by DePuy.
Types of Wright Hips Affected
The Wright Conserve hip-replacement system includes the Conserve Femoral Surface Replacement, the Conserve Plus Total Resurfacing Hip System, the Conserve Total A-Class Advanced Metal and the Conserve Total Hip System.
The system was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through its 510(k) process, a fast track to market process.
Concerns over Metal on Metal Hips
Several thousand metal on metal hips have been implanted over the past 10 years and only a fraction of those defective hips are seeing the light of litigation. This means that there are many thousands of defective hips out there, with folks unaware of the litigation, who are having problems. And the manufacturing companies and their implanting doctors are not letting the patients know of these problems. I get calls every day from folks who did not realize that there was a recall with the DePuy ASR or about metallosis in general. The message needs to get out.
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