Zimmer Hip Lawsuit - Lawyer Files Trilogy Case in Illinois

Judge Denies Summary Judgment in Zimmer Trilogy Hip Lawsuit

Shay Morrigan | March 5th, 2013

Zimmer Hip LawyerIllinois resident Mary Jo Ott filed a Zimmer hip lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claiming that the Zimmer Trilogy Acetabular System Constrained Liner (TCL) was defectively designed and manufactured. She seeks to hold Zimmer liable for her related injuries. Zimmer Inc., however, moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to provide expert testimony to support her claims. Federal Judge William Hart recently disagreed, denying summary judgment.

Zimmer hip lawsuit details problems with the Trilogy

Though Zimmer faces hundreds of lawsuits related to the Durom Cup, a metal-on-metal hip implant, it has had fewer customer complaints of Zimmer hip replacement problems with the Trilogy. Customers that have reported problems often suffer from multiple hip dislocations that eventually lead to the need for revision surgery to replace the hip implant.

According to Zimmer’s website, the Trilogy offers surgeons “ample scope to meet both the primary and revision needs of their patients while accommodating their surgical preference.” The system has many options for liners, while the shells are coated with titanium fiber metal, which is used to enhance fixation through bony ingrowth. Most shell options have holes in them as well, to allow for the placement of screws to further secure the implant in place.

The Constrained Liner is the socket part of the implant, intended for cementing into a shell. Zimmer claims that it has a “unique design that aims to improve the range of motion,” with “metal retaining fingers which prevent dislocation….” The plaintiff in this Zimmer hip lawsuit, however, claims the device restricted range of motion and was prone to premature failure.

Arguments made in Zimmer Trilogy case

Though Mary Jo Ott, represented by her Zimmer hip lawyer, originally filed this case, she died at age 66 of unrelated causes. Executor Jori A. Greybill continued with the lawsuit.

Zimmer claimed that Greybill did not provide expert testimony to support Ott’s claims, but Judge Hart noted that she had provided testimony from orthopedic surgeon Mitchell Sheinkop. This was the surgeon who performed the initial hip implantation procedure on Ott. Greybill also provided testimony from Michael O’Rourke, the surgeon who performed Ott’s revision surgery on September 5, 2008.

Zimmer also stated that there were other health risks involved that could explain the premature failure of the Trilogy device, but Hart countered, “there is testimony by the attending physicians explaining the nature of the failure and disintegration of the TCL, a disclaimer by the physicians of fault on the part of the patient, and a statement of what was defective in the prosthesis.”

The judge concluded that the evidence presented in the case was enough to preclude summary judgment.

Other plaintiffs hiring a Zimmer hip lawyer

Other plaintiffs have reported similar Zimmer hip replacement problems with the Trilogy. Though the constrained liner is supposed to address situations in which the hip has a tendency to dislocate, a Texas man filed a Zimmer hip lawsuit on January 9, 2012, stating that he started experiencing complications within 15 months of the original surgery. The implant allegedly dislocated the year after he received it, and then again five times more over the next two years. He eventually had to have it removed.

In October 2012, Zimmer announced that it had received a warning letter from the FDA on September 19, 2012. The letter warned the company of problems at the Ponce, Puerto Rico manufacturing facility, where the Trilogy system is made.  The agency noted that Zimmer had no testing mechanism to demonstrate that Trilogy products matched design specifications, and also lacked quality test manufacturing for products that incorporate metallic spikes.

Zimmer responded by stating it had addressed the problems.