Zimmer Hip Replacement: Consolidated into MDL
Dozens of Zimmer hip lawsuits have been consolidated in a New Jersey court to more efficiently bring resolution to an orthopedic crisis that has dragged on for 5 years.
The controversy centers on the Durom Cup, an acetabular hip component that was implanted into 12,000 people in the US before Zimmer Inc. temporarily suspended sales of the device in 2008.
Zimmer hip replacement problems lead to suspension of sales and lawsuits
The suspension of sales was brought on by complaints made by renowned orthopedist Dr. Larry Dorr, who found 9 percent of Durom Cup recipients required hip revision surgery after just 2 years.
Zimmer Inc. shot down Dorr’s allegations that the component is defective, claiming instead that faulty surgical instructions were responsible for the high revision rate. The company remarketed the device with updated surgical instructions just months after pulling the Durom Cup from the market.
Almost immediately, recipients of the Durom Cup began enlisting the services of a Zimmer hip lawyer. The lawsuits began trickling in across the country: New Jersey, Lousiana, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky.
Federal Zimmer hip lawsuits lead to Multidistrict Litigation
On June 9, 2010, a high-ranking judicial panel called the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that all federal Zimmer hip replacement lawsuits be consolidated for pretrial proceedings in a single federal court. The process, called multidistrict litigation or MDL, would speed the litigation through court and eliminate redundancies.
At the time of the consolidation, the litigation included 45 Zimmer hip replacement lawsuits. Several more have joined the consolidated litigation since. 12,000 or more Durom Cup recipients are theoretically eligible to join the litigation.
Zimmer Inc. has responded by setting aside more than $140 million for legal costs and patient compensation. It’s unclear how much of that reserve has been paid out to Durom Cup recipients. Zimmer Inc., one of the largest orthopedic device makers in the world, could be on the hook for considerably more than it has so far set aside and the reserve may increase in the coming weeks or months.
Judge Susan D. Wigenton of the US District of New Jersey has been assigned to oversee the consolidated litigation. Zimmer hip replacement trials could commence later this year.