Zimmer Hip Lawyer | Zimmer Hip Lawsuit Swiss Evidence

Swiss Regulations Complicate Zimmer Hip Lawsuit Discovery

Shay Morrigan | January 23rd, 2012

The medical device company Zimmer, Inc., has submitted a brief to the current New Jersey multidistrict litigation (MDL) in support of their motion for a “protective order” regarding the discovery of Swiss evidence. The company faces many plaintiffs who have retained a Zimmer hip lawyer to file  a personal injury claim regarding the Durom Cup.

Since the Durom Cup was originally designed and manufactured in Switzerland, many documents related to the device are located in, or originated from, Switzerland. Swiss Penal Code (PC), however, and the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection (DPA) restrict the use of these documents as evidence in foreign civil litigation. If Zimmer and their Swiss subsidiary, Zimmer GmbH, violate these restrictions, they are subject to criminal and civil penalties.

Zimmer hip lawsuit evidence

Each Zimmer hip lawyer requires documents from the Swiss company to use in preparing for a Zimmer hip lawsuit.

On July 15, 2011, the company notified plaintiffs’ Zimmer hip lawyers that the device manufacturing giant was working with Swiss counsel to find a solution that would allow “Zimmer to disclose relevant information and documents while at the same time comply with Swiss criminal and civil law.”

Zimmer suggests subsidiary be named as Zimmer hip lawsuit co-defendant

On August 15, 2011, Zimmer suggested naming its Swiss subsidiary—Zimmer GmbH—as a party in each Zimmer hip lawsuit. According to Swiss counsel, once this was done, Zimmer and Zimmer GmbH could voluntarily produce Swiss evidence so long as the information protected by law was edited to take out personal information, including names.

In October, plaintiffs opposed the defendant’s proposal for adding the entity to each Zimmer hip lawsuit. Further efforts at an agreement between the defendants and the Zimmer hip lawsuit plaintiffs were attempted at the Zimmer hip MDL status conferences on October 24, 2011, and November 28, 2011, without success.

Defendant invokes Hague Convention in negotiation with Zimmer hip lawyer

The U.S. Supreme Court has concluded that the Hague Convention establishes optional procedures that facilitate the taking of foreign evidence. Zimmer has now invoked the Hague Convention as a means of procuring Swiss evidence and protecting itself from the criminal and civil penalties that accompany violation of the PC and DPA.

Through a Zimmer hip lawyer, plaintiffs argue that eliminating protected information from the documents, like names, should be enough to ensure Zimmer’s protection, but Zimmer argues that PC Article 271 prohibits disclosure of Swiss evidence in foreign litigation. Thus, they assert in their brief, the Hague Convention remains the best option.