Zimmer Hip Replacement Problems: Inherent Design Flaw or Bad Directions?
Lawyers are currently evaluating cases for patients who have been fitted with the Zimmer Durom Cup, an acetabular hip replacement component that has been found to have a higher than normal rate of hip failure.
More than 12,000 Americans were fitted with the Durom Cup before Zimmer initiated a temporary suspension of sales of the Zimmer hip replacement device. Zimmer Inc., one of the largest orthopedic device manufacturers in the world, said the component had been packaged with the improper surgical instructions.
Zimmer Durom Cup hip revision surgery necessary for many
At least one prominent orthopedic surgeon has argued otherwise. Dr. Larry Dorr of the Dorr Arthritis Institute determined that 9 percent of Durom Cup recipients required revision surgery after just two years. The component, which is made from a single piece of cobalt-chromium alloy, is marketed to last 15 years or more. Any revision rate of more than 5 percent over 2 years can be considered catastrophic.
Zimmer Inc. remarketed the Durom Cup just months after pulling it from the market. Dr. Dorr and others held firm on their belief that the instructions were never the problem. Dr. Dorr said in a letter to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) that the fixative surface of the Durom Cup failed to promote osseointegration, or boney ingrowth. The component uses no screws or cement, thus relying on the natural fusion of bone and device.
Zimmer hip replacement lawsuits funneled into Multidistrict Litigation
On June 9, 2010, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation cleared the way for patients with Zimmer hip replacement problems to filed lawsuits in federal courts across the US. In a process called multidistrict litigation (MDL), those lawsuits will be funneled into a New Jersey court for shared pretrial litigation overseen by Judge Susan D. Wigenton..
Judge Wigenton earlier this week oversaw a plea deal made by Roberto Torres and his son Alejandro, who plead guilty to helping Miami businessman Nevin K. Shapiro steal more than $850 million from investors in New Jersey and elsewhere. The men will face sentencing on July 12.
Zimmer Inc. has set aside more than $140 million in a settlement reserve for patients who experience Zimmer hip replacement problems. That settlement reserve may grow as more plaintiffs join the litigation. Individuals who file a Zimmer hip lawsuit may be eligible to win more than $1 million each.