A federal jury in Atlanta awarded $11 million to plaintiff in the first bellwhether trial in a multidistrict litigation against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for purportedly defective metal hip implants.
Not only was the device found to be defective, but jurors concluded the company deceived patients and doctors concerning the safety of these devices. The verdict In re: Wright Medical Technology Inc., Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, includes $1 million in compensatory damages to plaintiff, plus another $10 million in punitive damages against defendant. Punitive damages are allowed in cases where there is evidence of gross negligence by a defendant, where the conduct is found to be so egregious that defendant was so reckless or wanting in care it amounted to a conscious indifference or disregard to the rights, safety and lives of others.
Plaintiff in this particular case was one of 2,000 who has thus far filed a complaint against the company and subsequently entered a tolling agreement.