A panel of federal judges has ordered all lawsuits involving Wright’s ProFemur hip implants that have been filed in U.S. federal courts to be consolidated under a single judge. Wright Medical Technology and MicroPort Orthopedics (which purchased Wright’s hip division in 2013) are currently facing at least 42 ProFemur lawsuits in 25 federal court jurisdictions, although more lawsuits are expected to be filed.
The Wright ProFemur Total Hip System was introduced by the company in 2003. The ProFemur implants are a metal-on-metal hip replacement, meaning that they use a metal cup and ball (in this case, a titanium alloy) rather than plastic or ceramic.
While most artificial hip replacements use a single femoral component, Wright’s ProFemur implants are unique in that the hip stem is comprised of two pieces, which can be adjusted depending on the length of the patient’s leg. However, lawsuits filed against Wright and MicroPort have alleged that a design flaw in this component of the ProFemur implants make the device more prone to failure than other hip replacements.
According to these lawsuits, the titanium parts in Wright’s ProFemur hip implants are prone to corrosion, fretting, and fractures, which occur at a higher rate than other non-metal hip replacement or metal-on-metal implants with a single femoral component. A 2009 study published by researchers in Australia found that more than 11% of patients who undergo hip replacement surgery with a ProFemur implant were forced to undergo revision surgery in order to correct problems with the device.
Because of the design flaw in Wright’s ProFemur devices, patients who undergo hip replacement surgery with this product may experience complication that could lead to the total failure of the device. Some of the most common side effects reported by patients who experience problems with their ProFemur implants include pain, difficulties standing or walking, infection, migration or loosening of the device, fractures, and dislocation of the device.
ProFemur Lawsuits Filed Against Wright, MicroPort
Hundreds of patients who have experienced problems with the ProFemur implants or total failure of the device have filed lawsuits against Wright and MicroPort. These lawsuits have alleged that the two companies knew about the risk of complications for patients who undergo hip replacement surgery with the ProFemur implants, but failed to warn doctors and patients about the increased risk of problems with the device.
In 2015, a jury in Georgia awarded $11 million in damages to a patient who was forced to undergo revision surgery after she began to experience severe pain at the site of her ProFemur hip replacement. During this surgery, doctors discovered that the implant had caused soft tissue damage at the site of her hip replacement. Jurors in the case ruled that the ProFemur implants were defectively designed and that Wright and MicroPort knew or should have known about these design flaws.
Federal Judicial Panel Consolidates ProFemur Lawsuits in MDL
In the wake of this bellwether ruling against Wright and MicroPort, other patients with defective ProFemur implants filed lawsuits against the two companies. In addition to hundreds of lawsuits filed in state courts, the device manufacturers also faces dozens of lawsuits filed in federal courts.
After reviewing these lawsuits, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled that dozens of federal lawsuits involving the ProFemur implants should be consolidated into a single Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) located in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The consolidation of the dozens of federal ProFemur lawsuits into a single MDL will help to streamline the discovery process of the litigation and make the litigation more convenient for the courts and the parties to the lawsuits.
Free Legal Consultation for Patients with Defective ProFemur Hip Implants
If you or a loved one underwent hip replacement surgery with the Wright ProFemur Total Hip System and have experienced complications from the device — including those that resulted in revision surgery — you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced product liability attorney, who can advise you regarding your legal rights and walk you through the first steps in filing a claim.
For more information about the lawsuits involving Wright’s ProFemur hip implants and to find out whether you may qualify to file a claim, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend to schedule your free legal consultation. You can reach us 24-7 by calling toll-free at 1-866-806-8117, or by filling out our free case evaluation form, located on the right side of this page.
After we receive your submission, a member of our staff will contact you to obtain any additional information that we need and to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.