A federal magistrate judge in Indiana has ordered Wright Medical Technology to produce information on Profemur hip replacement corrosion and fractures. According to HarrisMartin.com, the company had argued that the plaintiff’s request for the information was improper.
Plaintiff Merridy Fields was implanted with Profemur Plasma Z stem and Profemur CoCr modular neck. According to her Wright hip lawsuit, she was subsequently forced to undergo revision surgery due to corrosion at the stem-neck interface, at which time she received a Titanium Alloy Profemur long neck. Fields claims that the new device also failed at the stem-neck interface.
Fields was seeking documents pertaining to other models of the titanium and CoCr Profemur modular necks. Wright objected, asserting that the other Profemur models differ significantly from each other and from those implanted in Fields.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John E. Martin of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, granted rejected the company’s argument in an Order dated July 21st.
“Particularly given that Wright does not appear to distinguish between the different Profemur models when describing their safety, and given that this is a question of what information is discoverable, not what evidence can be admitted at trial, Wright has not borne its burden of establishing that the information on other Profemur models is improper,” Judge Martin Wrote. “Accordingly, Wright must respond to Fields’ requests as to all Profemur neck models.”
In May, Wright Medical Group disclosed that 25 hip replacement lawsuits alleging fracture of a Profemur long titanium modular neck were pending in U.S. courts, while more than 50 had been filed in courts elsewhere.
The Profemur hip replacement is currently marketed by MicroPort Orthopedics, Inc., which acquired Wright Medical Group’s OrthoRecon business in 2013. MicroPort recalled certain Profemur neck components in April 2015, after they were associated with an unexpectedly high rate of fractures. MicroPort’s action was designated a Class I recall by the U.S. Food &Drug Administration, which indicates that the recalled Profemur necks may cause serious injury or death.
Several lawsuits have since been filed by individuals who allegedly suffered Profemur neck fractures associated with the MicroPort hip replacement recall. Two cases have been consolidated for trial in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and are schedule to go before a jury in December 2017. (Case Nos. 2:15-cv-07102 and 2:15-cv-09397).
Hundreds of Wright hip replacement lawsuits have also been filed on behalf of plaintiffs who allegedly suffered failures related to metal-on-metal Conserve, Dynasty and Lineage hips. In November 2016, Wright Medical Group announced a $240 million settlement to resolve around 1,300 of these claims.
Those eligible to participate in the Wright hip replacement settlement include patients who required revision surgery within 8 months of implantation and who filed their lawsuit within their state’s statute of limitations.
The settlement was expected to resolve about 85% of the revision cases involving Conserve, Dynasty and Lineage hip replacements. About 1,300 additional claims remain to be litigated.