The first federal bellwether trial against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability and misrepresentation claims relating to the corporation’s defective metal-on-metal Conserve hip implant device resulted in a multi-million dollar verdict for Plaintiff Robyn Christiansen on November 24, 2015, with the jury awarding her $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.
Ms. Christiansen was implanted with Wright’s Conserve Plus metal-on-metal hip device in April, 2006. After only six years, the device failed and Ms. Christiansen, like many others who received the Conserve implant, was forced to undergo revision surgery to remove the defective device from her body. During the surgery, Ms. Christiansen’s surgeon noted fluid buildup, tissue necrosis, and signs of metallosis and inflammatory synovium, requiring the surgical removal of soft tissue damaged by the metal debris. Ms. Christiansen endured a painful recovery from her revision surgery and continues to suffer from her injuries. A former ski instructor for over 47 years, Ms. Christiansen is now limited in her ability to enjoy the things she has always loved to do, such as water-skiing and hiking.
Ms. Christiansen’s case was the first to go to trial in the In Re: Wright Medical Technology, Inc. Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2329, before the Honorable William S. Duffey, Jr., in the United Stated District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The federal jury reached a verdict in favor of Ms. Christiansen in the two week trial after three days of deliberations that included the weighing of evidence and determination that Wright Medical Technology, Inc. acted knowingly and with reckless indifference toward the rights of hip implant patients who relied on the company’s misrepresentations regarding the safety of its device.
Veteran trial lawyers Raymond P. Boucher of Boucher, LLP in Woodland Hills, California, Helen Zukin of Kiesel Law, LLP in Beverly Hills, California, and Michael Lee McGlamry and N. Kirkland Pope of Pope McGlamry PC in Atlanta, Georgia, led Ms. Christiansen’s trial team. Mr. Boucher and Mr. McGlamry are co-lead counsel for all plaintiffs in the federal litigation.
When asked about the trial, Mr. Boucher stated: “It was an honor to represent Ms. Christiansen at trial. She is an outstanding spokesperson for the thousands of plaintiffs and individuals in this proceeding and in litigation pending in California and elsewhere with claims against Wright for its misconduct.”