Wright Medical Technology announced that it would pay $240 million dollars to 1300 plaintiff's whose hip implants failed anywhere from 150 days to 8 years after hip replacement surgery. It was claimed that the defective implants shed metallic debris into surrounding tissue causing "metallosis". This condition inflamed tissue and dissolved bone that anchored the implant causing implant failure requiring revision surgery with increased surgical risks. This settlement resolves an estimated 85% of all known claims.
Settlement was prompted after the manufacturer refused to settle one case in Atlanta last year that went to trial and resulted in a jury verdict for compensatory and punitive damages of $11 million dollars. The punitive damages component was reduced by the trial judge who lopped off almost $9 million. Nevertheless, the manufacturer could not afford to pay attorneys fees - plus $2 million to each of the 1300 claimants without declaring bankruptcy. Therefore, this settlement was very favorable to the manufacturer.