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Zimmer Hip Replacement Lawsuits

Hip replacement manufacturer Zimmer Holdings Inc. voluntarily suspended sales of the Durom Cup in July 2008, but reintroduced the product to the market a few months later. Zimmer set aside millions of dollars to compensate patients who filed lawsuits after received Durom implants and later required revision surgery after suffering serious complications.

Status of Zimmer Hip Lawsuits

On June 9, 2010, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) transferred federal cases regarding the Zimmer Durom Cup to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Known as MDL No. 2158, the cases remain separate, but have been grouped together for pretrial proceedings.

Federal Cases Pending

Judge Susan D. Wigenton oversees the federal litigation, which included 240 cases. However, nearly 100 of those cases have been resolved, including cases that have settled. Several lawsuits have also been filed at the state level, including cases filed in New Jersey state courts.

$400M in Settlements

Zimmer already paid close to $400 million in settlements to people injured by the Durom Cup. In addition, it expects to pay more than $200 million more to settle pending lawsuits. After finalizing settlements and mediation, bellwether trials are expected to continue.

Why People File Zimmer Durom Cup Lawsuits

According to the lawsuits, Zimmer knowingly sold and marketed a defective product. There are also other counts of negligence against Zimmer.

Plaintiffs state that Zimmer:
Did not warn of the risks
Did not properly test the Durom Cup before selling it
Improperly marketed the device
Released inaccurate statements about the device's safety and effectiveness
Unfairly profited from sales of the Durom Cup

Device Complications

The Durom Acetabular Component – or Durom Cup, as it is commonly known – is constructed of a single sheet of cobalt chromium alloy metal. It was designed to be used without cement and has a porous coating designed to encourage bone growth and fuse it to the hip socket, holding it into place. Unfortunately, in some people the device failed within two years, causing serious injury. According to lawsuits, instead of securely fitting into the hip socket, the Durom Cup fails to bond with the bone and can lead to:

Severe pain

Dislocation

Nerve damage

Need for revision surgery

People Who Filed Zimmer Lawsuits

People who file Zimmer hip replacement lawsuits claim that their injuries were caused by the device maker's negligence and could have been avoided. One complaint states the Durom Cup failure rate is as high as 30 percent and that Zimmer continued to market the defective product.

Matthew and Stephanie Cristino

Matthew Cristino received a Durom implant in 2006. Despite "ideal conditions for a hip replacement," he experienced "extreme pain and weakness" following his surgery. He had to receive multiple revision surgeries. He alleged that Zimmer was aware of a high rate of failure associated with the device, but failed to warn his surgeon. He and his wife sued Zimmer in federal court in California. Their case was later transferred to the federal MDL.

David and Lucinda Weaver

Lucinda Weaver received a total hip replacement in 2007. She later suffered loosening and separation of her Durom implant. She claimed that the implant was defective and "did not perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect." She filed a personal injury lawsuit in California state court for damages, including medical expenses and loss of income. The Weavers reached a settlement with Zimmer in December 2010.

Others who have suffered similar injuries from Durom hip implants may be eligible to receive compensation for:
Medical bills
Pain and suffering
Lost income
Loss of consortium
Punitive damages

Vanessa Blanco

Patient Advocate vblanco@drugwatch.com
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If you or a loved one suffered complications from a defective hip implant, we can help. Contact our patient advocates to find out about treatment options, complications and your possible legal options.

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View Sources
  1. Background on Durom Cup Status. (2008, July 22). Zimmer Holdings, Inc. [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.zimmer.com/web/enUS/pdf/Durom_Backgrounder_on_Status_7-22-08.pdf
  2. Form 10Q Quarterly Report. (2011, November 2). Zimmer Holdings, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.gurufocus.com/StockLink.php?type=sec&symbol=ZMH&date=2011-11-02&report=10-Q
  3. Information for Patients Considering a Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant System. (n.d.). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/MetalonMetalHipImplants/ucm241767.htm
  4. In Re: Zimmer Durom Hip Cup Products Liability Litigation. (2010, September 22). United States District Court District of New Jersey. Retrieved from http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-jersey/njdce/2:2010cv04716/246615/9/0.pdf
  5. Sedrakyan, Art, et al. (2011, November 29). Comparative assessment of implantable hip devices with different bearing surfaces: systematic appraisal of evidence. BMJ, 343: doi: 10.1136/bmj.d7434
  6. Vendittoli, P.A., et al. (2007). Chromium and cobalt ion release following the Durom high carbon content, forged metal-on-metal surface replacement of the hip. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, British Volume, 89-B (4), 441-448 doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.89B4.18054
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