Zimmer Hip Implant Lawsuit | Zimmer Hip Replacement Recall

Durom Cup Lawsuits: Compensation for a Conflict of Interest

J. Cooper Carlisle | May 24th, 2011

It takes trust to undergo a Zimmer hip replacement procedure. It takes trust in one’s surgeon to perform a skilled surgery and it takes trust in one’s new hip that the device will work without defect or complication.

It may be easy to trust a surgeon.  After all it’s in a surgeon’s best interest to perform a clean and successful surgery, and who else would you trust cutting into you while you sleep? But how much trust should a patient reasonably invest in the device manufacturer?

Red flag:  Zimmer Durom Cup problems lead to suspension of sales

Orthopedic device manufacturers are also for the most part trustworthy. It is in their best interests to sell post-op success rates that are more impressive than those of competitors and not have complications requiring hip revision surgery.

But sometimes a device, such as the Zimmer Durom Cup, slips through the cracks of clinical testing and FDA regulation and doesn’t manifest complications until it has been inside a recipient’s body for a year or more. When this occurs, it may be in a medical device manufacturer’s best interest to cover up complications and deny defects in order to avoid costly product liability litigation.

When a defect is admitted or when a recall or voluntary suspension of sales is issued, the floodgates on litigation often open.

Zimmer claims inadequate instructions not a defective hip implant

That was the case in 2008 when Zimmer issued a voluntary temporary suspension of  Zimmer hip sales which has sometimes erroneously been referred to as a Zimmer Hip recall involving its Durom Cup acetabular hip replacement component. The Durom Cup was implicated in a higher than normal rate of hip implant failure requiring hip revision surgery due to possible defects with the fixative surface of the cement-free device. Zimmer Inc. announced that its temporary Zimmer hip replacement suspension of sales was due to inadequate instructions packaged with the device, not an inadequate device.

12,000 people received Zimmer Hip replacement before suspension of sales

By the time the company issued the suspension of sales, approximately 12,000 people had already been implanted with the Durom Cup. Following this Zimmer hip replacement recall, many of them filed a Zimmer hip implant lawsuit.

$150,000 million Zimmer Hip settlement fund

In large part due to the temporary suspension of sales often referred to as a Zimmer Hip recall, a high-ranking judicial panel soon consolidated all Durom Cup lawsuits filed in federal courts. Zimmer Inc. responded by setting aside nearly $150 million in a Durom Cup settlement fund. Since then, several Zimmer hip implant lawsuits have been settled. A number remain unsettled, awaiting trial in a New Jersey federal court.

Today, new potential plaintiffs are emerging across the nation as Durom Cup complications come to light years after implant and affected patients seek the advice of a Zimmer Hip lawyer. Sometimes litigation is the only way to gain fair compensation for being implanted with a device, that in this case, the manufacturer has admitted was distributed with defective instructions.