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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Calif. jury awards $4.5 million to plaintiff in case against hip implant maker

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Jun 17, 2015

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - Last week, a California jury awarded the plaintiff in the first Wright Medical hip implant lawsuit to go to trial $4.5 million.


Attorneys for plaintiff Alan Warner argued in the product liability lawsuit that the laser etchings made on Wright’s Profemur R hip implant -- used to help doctors properly place the implant during surgery -- caused it to become brittle and break.


The implant used in Warner snapped while he stood in his kitchen in 2010. As a result, Warner, a senior citizen, experienced numerous dislocations and infections, and required more than a dozen major surgeries.

Wright argued, during the two-week trial, that the problem mostly lie with the surgeon who placed Warner’s implant.


According to a Courtroom VIew Network webcast of the trial, which can be viewed here, the jury awarded Warner $4 million for past and future pain and suffering, and $500,000 to his wife for loss of consortium.


The 12-member jury deliberated for a day before issuing its 9-3 decision. The jurors said the company’s design was not at fault, but that the implant used was defective.


The case is the first of more than 1,000 involving the company to go to trial anywhere in the country. Most of the other lawsuits claim metal components in the implants ground together and released toxins into the bloodstream.


The Vartazarian Law Firm in Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Denver-based Warshauer-McLaughlin Law Group PC represented the plaintiff.


“Nobody has ever gone up against [Wright] in trial, and I finally decided that I’m going to do it, and we did, and we won,” Steve Vartazarian told CVN. “It’s possible to take them down.”


Wright is represented by Chicago law firm Howard & Howard and San Diego firm Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge LLP.


A spokeswoman for Wright said the company expects to appeal the jury verdict.


From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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