According to court documents, the verdict includes $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages. Some 2,000 people have filed a complaint or entered a tolling agreement after receiving allegedly defective Wright Conserve Hip Implant Systems.
According to Christiansen’s complaint, she underwent surgery to receive the implant in April 2006, following the advice from her physician and based on information provided by Wright, that the metal-on-metal design was better compared with those made a polyethylene lining.
In 2012, Christiansen began experiencing severe pain in her right hip during exercise. She underwent surgery to correct what her doctor thought to be a loose component. However, during the surgery her doctor discovered the surrounding soft tissue had been damaged by metal debris that was causing the hip to fail, according to the complaint.
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Hip replacement is common place in North America, with many companies providing a wide variety of artificial hips, one of which being the Wright Profemur Z hip implant. In 2009, a report on data from the Australian Joint Registry stated that the Profemur Z hip implant, manufactured by Wright Medical Technologies (Arlington, TN), was associated with an 11.2% failure rate at the three year interval. Hip implants are typically designed to last for up to 15 years or more.