More than 800 complaints, including more than 400 federal lawsuits, have been filed against a company that specializes in hip and knee replacements.
The lawsuits allege that Wright Medical Technology’s CONSERVE implants release high levels of metal pieces into the body because of its design. This not only allegedly causes metal poisoning and necrosis, but also can cause the implant to fail.
Is it hip to have a new hip?
Hip surgery used to be reserved for the elderly. Today, younger people are opting for it. When these patients recover, they expect to lead an active lifestyle, which was why they wanted the surgery. Consequently, a failing hip implant becomes a serious problem. These patients expect a hip implant to stand up to normal use.
In fact, hip replacement recently became the topic of popular culture. Actor Steve Carrell, 52, underwent a hip replacement earlier this year. Carrell, who is perhaps best known for his roles in the NBC hit series “The Office” and the 2005 blockbuster hit “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” received a ceramic hip about a year ago that he joked about on the Nov. 11, 2014, episode of “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
The source of friction
Unlike the ceramic hip that Carell chose, the Wright CONSERVE has metal-on-metal parts that rub against each other. The CONSERVE hip implant can release metal bits that then enter the body. These metal bits get into nearby tissues, and can starve the tissues of oxygen. This can result in necrosis, or death of the tissues. The metal bits can also get into the blood, causing metallosis or metal poisoning in the blood, and lead to headaches and nervous system disorders. The company’s Profemur Z Stem – a part that can be added with the CONSERVE implant – can fracture shortly after the implant, causing swelling and difficulty walking. Patients with these devices have experienced pain and sometimes have had to undergo surgeries to replace the faulty products.
The litigation that Wright is facing is based on those issues. In February of 2012, cases involving CONSERVE implants were centralized into an MDL, or Multidistrict Litigation. In April of 2012, cases against the Profemur Z Stem were included in the MDL, if this stem was a part of a CONSERVE implant. Wright Medical already settled two lawsuits against the Profemur Z Stem in 2013.
By January of 2014, there were 70 cases included in the MDL. In September of 2014, the cases number had grown to 400. People who have suffered metal poisoning, necrosis, and failure of the CONSERVE implant also have the option of filing lawsuits in state or federal courts. Wright Medical released the information that over 800 product liability cases have been filed against their CONSERVE line in these courts.
Wright has been in the medical implant business since 1950. In the first three quarters of 2012, the company had $480 million in sales.
How to Seek Help if You’ve Had Problems with a Metal-on-Metal hip Implant
If you or a loved one has received a CONSERVE implant with a Profemur Z Stem in connection with it, or any nmetal-on-metal joint replacement, and suffered complications such as necrosis or metallosis, contact Attorney Group today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. If we find that you have a case, we can put you in contact with one of our affiliated attorneys who can help you to recover the damages to which you may be entitled.