Zimmer Lays Blame on Doctors
The number of Zimmer lawsuits is increasing drastically as more individuals become aware of the basic design problems and more surgeons speak out about increasing rates of failure as patients return with complaints. The Zimmer Durom Cup hip failure was first brought to light by Dr. Dorr in April of 2008.
Dr. Dorr submitted an open letter to colleagues at the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. In the letter he noted problematic failure rates obvious in his own practice: out of 165 Zimmer implants he performed there were 14 revision surgery requirements in the 2 years following the original procedure. Dr. Dorr’s professional opinion was that the Zimmer Durom cup was defective hip implant on a design level.
In July 2008, a temporary suspension of Zimmer Durom Cup sales was issued by the company in order to conduct further investigation. They concluded that the design was not to blame. The product was made available with an updated label, and updated surgical instructions for proper technique during surgical implant. The New YorkTtimes published a quote from a Zimmer official in an article in July of 2010 blaming the problem on Dr. Dorr’s technique.
Common defense on part of Zimmer
Another Zimmer consultant/master surgeon, Dr. Richard A. Berger,had a similar experience. Berger realized after frequent need for revision surgery that the Zimmer Nex-Gen knee replacement had excessively high failure rates. He conducted a study to ascertain the facts alongside a colleague. When he brought the issue to the attention of Zimmer officials and scientists…they offered assurances that the design functioned as intended.
After over a decade of being recognized as a master surgeon and paid millions of dollars by Zimmer to train other surgeons to properly use Zimmer devices for maximum performance using minimally invasive techniques, Berger’s technique was called into question as the cause of the high failure rate.
The combination of both Dorr and Berger’s stories indicate a recurring issue of blame placing between the pharmaceutical/manufacturing companies and the surgeons using their products. While assigning blame where responsibility lies is important, it is secondary to alleviating patient pain and suffering. Zimmer lawsuits frequently cite both parties as being at least partially responsible for the damage created by the Zimmer Durom Cup hip failure. As litigation continues the details regarding “responsibility” will become clearer.