Illinois Plaintiffs Seek Millions in Zimmer Hip Lawsuit
Once praised as a medical device innovation, the Durom Acetabular Component system or “Durom Cup” is now the source of product liability lawsuits against Zimmer, Inc. Zimmerfirst introduced the Durom Cup in 2006 and two years later voluntarily withdrew it from the market due reports of premature hip replacement failure and hip revision surgery.
Concerns first surfaced about the products high rate of failure in April of 2008, by orthopaedic surgeon Lawrence Dorr, but it was not until July 2008 that Zimmer suspended Durom Cup sales pending further investigation. The company stated that they were suspending sales of the Durom Cup until revisions to the product labeling and more detailed surgical technique instructions could be made. In a letter sent to surgeons, Zimmer also stated that they would provide a program for surgical training to reduce the high hip failure rate in the future.
42 plaintiffs demand Zimmer hip lawsuit settlements
On April 8, 2009 a Zimmer hip lawsuit was filed in St. Clair County, IL on behalf of 42 plaintiffs claiming severe pain and additional medical care due to their Zimmer hip implant failure. The suit alleges that Zimmer did not conduct adequate testing of the device, and that it failed to warn patients about the high risk of component failure which resulted in painful and debilitating injuries. As a result, patients incurred steep medical, rehabilitative, and pharmaceutical expenses. They claim to have lost income, opportunities, as well as family and social relationships, and were prevented from participating in their normal activities. The plaintiffs are seeking $2.15 million in Zimmer hip lawsuit settlements and/or jury verdicts plus additional money for court costs and other expenses as deemed reasonable by the court. The honorable Robert P. Lechien presides over the state Zimmer hip lawsuit.
Zimmer Hip Multidistrict Litigation
The Illinois state case does not appear to be part of the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) currently pending in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. In June 2010, 45 federal cases were consolidated after a judicial panel found that all federal Zimmer lawsuits shared common questions of fact. Shared facts among all the cases include allegations that the Durom Cup hip replacement was defectively designed or manufactured, and that Zimmer failed to adequately warn the public about validly held concerns regarding the device. Judge Susan D. Wigenton presides over the federal Zimmer multidistrict litigation.
Zimmer hip litigation settlement fund
In preparation for Zimmer hip lawsuit settlements, the company has been setting aside revenue. In 2008 it set aside $69 million and in July 2010 it added another $75 million to its settlement reserve. So far there is not any clear indication as to whether or not the company has settled out of court any of the numerous lawsuits it has pending. It is estimated that approximately 12,000 patients received the Durom Cup before Zimmer issued its recall. Many of these patients already make up the scores of plaintiffs with lawsuits pending, but what is unclear is how many more will join them. Anyone injured after receiving a Durom Cup hip implant should consult with a Zimmer hip lawyer to ensure they have their day in court.