U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms $2.1 Million Judgment in Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement Case

This case concerned the first of over 500 cases regarding the Wright Medical Conserve “metal-on-metal” hip replacement device designed and manufactured by the defendant. The plaintiff filed a products liability suit alleging, among other things, that the defendant was liable for design defects based on strict liability and negligence.

On appeal, the defendant challenged the entry of a $2,100,000 judgment. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the district court erred in ordering the jury to continue deliberations after the jury had already begun to deliver its verdict.

In this case, upon recognizing the inconsistency in the jury verdict, the district court immediately halted publication of the verdict and instructed the jury that an error had been made; the district court acted in a neutral and non-biased manner in acknowledging and addressing the inconsistent verdict; and the district court also recharged the jury.

The court also rejected the defendant’s argument that the district court erred in its instructions on Utah’s products liability law with regard to the unavoidably unsafe product defense in Comment k of Section 402A of the Restatement (Second) of Torts.

The appellate court decision explained that any categorical bar to liability for an unavoidably unsafe product was not available to defendant and thus the district court did not err in failing to give such an instruction to the jury.

Furthermore, any error by the district court in instructing the jury on the unavoidably unsafe defense did not affect the result in this case because the jury found that defendant had not proven the defense. Therefore, the court concluded that the district court’s error was harmless. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.

Christensen v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc., 16-12162, In the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, (March 20, 2017).

Kreisman Law Offices has been successfully handling hip replacement defect and injury cases for individuals, family members and loved ones for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas including Winfield, Morton Grove, Park Ridge, Worth, Alsip, South Holland, Blue Island, Gurnee, Round Lake, Grayslake and Lincolnshire, Crestwood, Chicago (Midway, Gresham, Washington Heights, Englewood, Bridgeport, West Town), Stickney, Bedford Park and LaGrange, Ill.

Related blog posts:

Metal-On-Metal Hip Implants Enter the Marketplace Without Sufficient Clinical Data

State Supreme Court Reverses for Family of Patient Who Died After Complications from Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System

Medical Device Cases Brightened by Recent U.S. Court of Appeals Decision; Stengel v. Medtronic, Inc.