ALERT: Your health is top priority. We’re committed to providing reliable COVID-19 resources to keep you informed and safe.

Wright Medical Pays $90 Million to Settle Remaining Hip Lawsuits


Editors carefully fact-check all Drugwatch content for accuracy and quality.

Drugwatch has a stringent fact-checking process. It starts with our strict sourcing guidelines.

We only gather information from credible sources. This includes peer-reviewed medical journals, reputable media outlets, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts.

gavel resting on a stack of hundred dollar bills

Wright Medical has agreed to pay almost $90 million to settle the remaining 600 or so lawsuits against the company over its metal-on-metal hip implants. It would end more than six years of legal battles against the company by people who claimed they were harmed by its implants.

The settlement was reached October 3, 2017, according to documents the company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It affects lawsuits in an Atlanta federal court and state courts in California.

Those eligible must have had revision surgery to replace defective metal-on-metal components of the company’s Conserve, Dynasty or Lineage model hips.

Expands Earlier $240 Million Hip Settlement

Wright Medical agreed in November 2016 to a $240 million settlement with nearly 1,300 people suing the company over its hip implants. The agreement offered an average of $170,000 to each patient who had received a faulty Conserve implant and $120,000 to each patient who had sued over Dynasty and Lineage model implants.

Injured by a Wright hip replacement? Get a Free Case Review

The expanded agreement settles about 600 cases that were still pending in Georgia and California courts. It covers people who didn’t agree to the first settlement or filed lawsuits after it was completed. The new agreement also covers people who had implants fail after the time limit to file a lawsuit ran out.

The company plans payouts in three waves based on the circumstances of specific lawsuits:

  • $7.9 million to settle 49 claims that missed out on the original settlement
  • $5.1 million to settle 39 claims by the oldest people who brought lawsuits
  • $76.75 million to settle all existing claims through October 1, 2017

The payments depend on Wright receiving payments from its insurer. They also depend on 95 percent of the people in each of the three waves to agree to the settlement.

If everything falls into place, Wright expects all payments will be completed by September 2019.

Wright Medical faced hundreds of lawsuits over the Conserve hip implants by 2012. The cases were combined into a pair of multidistrict litigations (MDLs). MDLs allow several similar lawsuits to be combined to save time and money, allowing cases to move more quickly through the legal process.

In 2015, an Atlanta jury awarded an $11 million verdict to a woman who had received a faulty Wright Conserve hip implant. The jury found the device was defective, unreasonably dangerous and that the company had misrepresented its safety. Wright agreed to the first settlement about a year later.

High Failure Rate, Complications Led to Lawsuits

By 2010, nearly 1 in 5 Wright Conserve hips required revision surgery less than five years after patients received one. In addition to the hips failing, people listed metallosis, damage to bone or muscle tissue and device loosening in lawsuits they filed.

Metallosis is a type of metal poisoning. As the metal parts in metal-on-metal hips rubbed against each other in normal use, they released microscopic metal particles. These particles caused metallosis, which can cause further damage of the implant or loosening.

Similar problems were being reported with the Dynasty and Lineage models, as well as metal-on-metal hip implants made by other manufacturers.

At least four other metal-on-metal hip devices are the target of thousands of current lawsuits in other MDLs, including:

  • Biomet, Inc. M2a Magnum Hip Implant – 459 pending cases
  • DePuy Orthopaedics ASR Hip Implant – 1,641 pending cases
  • DePuy Orthopaedics Pinnacle Hip Implant – 9,155 pending cases
  • Zimmer Holdings Durom Hip Cup – 330 pending cases

FDA Takes Action on Metal-on-Metal Hips

In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered manufacturers to begin tracking problems with the device.

The agency had cleared at least 190 metal-on-metal approval requests through the agency’s 510(k) process by late 2012. Most of the requests were for modifications to existing designs. The 501(k) process requires that a device maker simply show its product is “substantially similar” to a medical device already on the market.

Since 2016, the FDA has required any company manufacturing certain types of metal-on-metal hip implants to receive the agency’s premarket approval (PMA) before marketing them in the U.S. In the PMA process, manufacturers have to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of their devices.

Wright Medical sold its hip and knee implant business in 2013 for $290 million. As of early 2017, the FDA said there were five other manufacturers of metal-on-metal hip implants still selling devices in the U.S.

Terry Turner
Written By Terry Turner Writer

Terry Turner has been writing articles and producing news broadcasts for more than 25 years. He covers FDA policy, proton pump inhibitors, and medical devices such as hernia mesh, IVC filters, and hip and knee implants. An Emmy-winning journalist, he has reported on health and medical policy issues before Congress, the FDA and other federal agencies. Some of his qualifications include:

  • American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates member
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Literacy certificates
  • Original works published or cited in Washington Examiner, MedPage Today and The New York Times
  • Appeared as an expert panelist on hernia mesh lawsuits on the BBC
Edited By

7 Cited Research Articles writers follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, court records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and interviews with qualified experts. Review our editorial policy to learn more about our process for producing accurate, current and balanced content.

  1. Mogensen, S.S., et al. (2016, March 29). High Re-Operation Rates Using Conserve Metal-On-Metal Total Hip Articulations. Retrieved from:
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2016, November 25). Implants and Prosthetics: Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants. Retrieved from:
  3. Brennan, Z. (2016, February 17). FDA to Require PMAs for Two Types of Hip Replacement Devices. Retrieved from:
  4. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2017, February 2). Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Systems. Retrieved from:
  5. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (2017, October 3). Form 8-K, Wright Medical Group N.V. Retrieved from:
View All Sources
Call to speak with a legal expert
Who Am I Calling?

Calling this number connects you with one of Drugwatch's trusted legal partners. A law firm representative will review your case for free.

Drugwatch's trusted legal partners support the organization’s mission to keep people safe from dangerous drugs and medical devices. For more information, visit our partners page.

(877) 280-3908