United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
IN RE WRIGHT MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY INC., CONSERVE HIP IMPLANT PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION ELIE M. MIMS and NORMA C. MIMS, Plaintiffs,
WRIGHT MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY INC. and WRIGHT MEDICAL GROUP INC., Defendants. This Document Relates to: ELIE M. MIMS and NORMA C. MIMS 1:16-cv-3044-WSD
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DIJFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants Wright Medical
Technology, Inc. (“WMT”) and Wright Medical Group
Inc.'s (“WMG”) (together, “Wright
Medical”) Motion to Dismiss .
December 21, 2010, Plaintiffs Elie M. Mims and Norma C. Mims
(“Plaintiffs”) filed a products liability action
against WMT in the State Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia
(“2010 Complaint”), based on alleged defects in
WMT's Profemur Total Hip System. On January 21, 2011, WMT
removed the action to this Court, No. 1:11-cv-213-TWT. In
their 2010 Complaint, Plaintiffs sought damages related to
and arising from Elie Mims' total hip replacement and
explant surgery for his right hip. On February 17,
2014, Plaintiffs executed a settlement agreement and release
[3.1] (“Release”). The Release provides that
[C]ompletely release and forever discharge Wright Medical and
its . . . parents . . . from any and all past, present or
future claims, actions, causes of action, costs, expenses and
compensation of any nature whatsoever, whether based on a
tort, contract or other theory of recovery, which
[Plaintiffs] now have or which may hereafter accrue or
otherwise be acquired on [Plaintiffs'] behalf, without
limitation, any and all known or unknown claims for bodily
and personal injuries, which have resulted or may result from
the alleged acts or omissions of any party hereto.
(Release ¶ 2). The Release applies to all claims
Plaintiffs “have or may ever have against Wright
Medical relating to or resulting from the implantation and
use of Wright Medical hip systems and components into Elie M.
Mims, . . . including any revisions thereto . . . .”
(Id. ¶ 1).
the settlement agreement, Plaintiffs received monetary
compensation, and they acknowledged receipt of the
agreed-upon funds in the Release. (Id.) The parties
also agreed that the Release represented the “entire
agreement among the parties hereto with respect to the
subject matter hereof, ” (id. ¶ 12), and
that the Release would be governed by Georgia law,
(id. ¶20). Plaintiffs acknowledged that
“their execution of this [R]elease is free and
voluntary, ” (id. ¶ 13A), and that they
signed the Release “voluntarily and of their own free
will and assent[ed] to all the terms and conditions contained
in this Release, ” (id. ¶ 21C).
Plaintiffs further acknowledged that they had “reviewed
this Release and had the opportunity to have it reviewed by
their attorneys, ” (id. ¶ 15), and that
they fully understood the “significance of all of the
terms and conditions of this Release and have discussed it
with their independent legal counsel, or have had a
reasonable opportunity to do so, ” (id. ¶
August 19, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a short-form complaint 
(“2016 Complaint”) in this MDL based on Mr.
Mims's replacement of, and explant surgery on, his
left hip. The complaint alleges that Mr. Mims'
left hip implant was a Wright Medical Conserve hip implant
that was implanted on November 22, 2005. (2016 Complaint
¶ 9). Plaintiffs allege Mr. Mims's explant surgery
took place on May 31, 2016. (2016 Complaint ¶ 11).
Plaintiffs checked all fourteen possible causes of action in
the short-form complaint.
October 18, 2016, Wright Medical filed its Motion to Dismiss,
arguing that the clear and unequivocal language of the
Release bars all of Plaintiffs' claims in their
complaint. Plaintiffs claim that the Release applied only to
injuries and damages arising from the failure to Mr.
Mims's right hip, and that, at the time the
parties entered into the Release and settlement agreement, no
evidence existed that Mr. Mims's left hip had
failed in any way, and Plaintiffs thus did not have a cause
of action. Plaintiffs claim Mr. Mims only learned of issues
with his left hip in 2016, after which he underwent
a total revision surgery of his left hip to remove the WMT
Legal Standard 
motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court must “assume that
the factual allegations in the complaint are true and give
the plaintiff the benefit of reasonable factual
inferences.” Wooten v. Quicken Loans, Inc.,
626 F.3d 1187, 1196 (11th Cir. 2010). Although reasonable
inferences are made in the plaintiff's favor,
“‘unwarranted deductions of fact' are not
admitted as true.” Aldana v. Del Monte Fresh
Produce, N.A., 416 F.3d 1242, 1248 (11th Cir. 2005)
(quoting S. Fla. Water Mgmt. Dist. v. Montalvo, 84
F.3d 402, 408 n.10 (11th Cir. 1996)). Similarly, the Court is
not required to accept conclusory allegations and legal
conclusions as true. See Am. Dental Ass'n v. Cigna
Corp., 605 F.3d 1283, 1290 (11th Cir. 2010)(construing
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009); Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570). Mere “labels and conclusions”
are insufficient. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. “A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). This requires more than
the “mere possibility of misconduct.” Am.
Dental, 605 F.3d at 1290 (quoting Iqba ...