Zimmer Hip Implant Lawsuit | Zimmer Hip Lawyer MDL

Zimmer Hip Implant Lawsuits: Background, Injuries, and Allegations

Shay Morrigan | August 20th, 2012

People who have been injured after receiving the Zimmer Durom Cup may be eligible to file a Zimmer hip implant lawsuit.

The FDA approved the device in 2006, and estimates are that since then, it’s been implanted in about 13,00 patients in the U.S. Reports of problems began in 2007, however, when prominent orthopedic surgeon and former Zimmer consultant Dr. Lawrence Dorr alerted the manufacturer to abnormally high failure rates.

The company announced a temporary suspension of sales in July 2008, but they re-released the product to the market about a month later, claiming that there was no evidence that the device was defective.

No Zimmer hip replacement recall issued

When the Zimmer Durom Cup first came onto the market, it was advertised as an innovative medical device meant to be used in younger patients. The metal-on-metal design was intended to provide longer-lasting durability to reduce the need for multiple hip replacements in patients who needed surgery earlier in life.

The metal component of the device, instead of being cemented to the bone, was treated with a material meant to encourage bony ingrowth into the implant. Some patients, however, reported that the components were actually coming loose, resulting in severe pain and ultimate device failure.

Dr. Dorr, the director of the Dorr Institute for Arthritis Research and Education and 30-year veteran of hip implant surgeries, alerted Zimmer to the issues in 2007. When the company failed to respond, Dr. Dorr wrote a letter to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons in April 2008, noting apparent issues with the design of the Zimmer Durom Cup.

Zimmer hip lawyer likely to quote Dr. Dorr

A Zimmer hip lawyer is likely to quote Dr. Dorr’s letter when presenting the facts in a Zimmer hip implant lawsuit. For example, the doctor wrote, “We do not believe the fixation surface is good on these cups. We stopped using the cup after the first revisions.”

The doctor added that he had notified the company, but they had not responded: “We have notified Zimmer….The company does not believe it should pull the cup from the market so I am notifying all of my colleagues of our failure rate with this cup.”

In May of 2008, the company announced it would investigate the issues. On July 24, 2008, the company suspended distribution of the implant, but decided against implementing a Zimmer hip replacement recall.

Instead, after about a month, Zimmer announced that their investigation had revealed that surgeon error was to blame for the reported hip problems. They updated the label and started a new surgical-training program in the U.S.

Preparing for a Zimmer hip implant lawsuit

In September 2010, a study from the University of Wisconsin Clinical Science Center found a significantly higher rate of failure for the Durom Cup when compared to the Zimmer Trilogy hip implant. The cups failed because of a lack of bony ingrowth into the back of the cup.

In 2010, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated each federal Zimmer hip implant lawsuit into one court in New Jersey. The first bellwether trial is expected to begin in late 2012.