Plaintiff Files Zimmer Hip Lawsuit, Seeks Over $75,000 in Damages
Zimmer Holdings Inc. was the top seller of hip implants worldwide, accounting for 70 percent of the market in 2008. Despite $1,279.5 million in hip component sales for the year, they issued a temporary suspension on the “Durom Cup” hip implant device they manufactured, stating that they wished to re-label the product to give surgeons better directions on how to install the implant in patients and reduce complication rates. The company cited a failure rate of 5.7 percent, although independent studies showed failure rates as high as 24 percent.
As patients began to file formal complaints, Zimmer Holdings set aside $271.7 million to address lawsuits involving surgeries performed prior to July 22, 2008 and revision surgeries performed within two years of the original implant. Later, they were forced to pay claims to patients who required revision surgery – regardless of the time elapsed since implantation. According to their own records, the remaining liability was $142.6 million, as of September 30, 2011.
The company then agreed to include up to $10.2 million in Durom Cup claims for surgeries conducted after July 2008 as part of its product liability accruals. However, they worried these claims may be more than anticipated. In speaking with the New York Times, Dr. Art Sedrakyan said that, according to performance data, the number of patients who will need their all-metal hips replaced will be in the “tens of thousands” by 2021.
Zimmer hip lawsuit alleges great pain and agony
On April 30th, 2013, James O. Gipson Jr. filed a Zimmer hip lawsuit with the U.S. district court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received the Durom Cup implant in his left hip in 2008 and required a revision surgery in 2011. According to the suit, the defective device “caused him to suffer significant injuries, including great pain and agony that restricted his ability to engage in the physical activities he enjoys and has affected his ability to perform basic daily activities.”
Plaintiff would not have gotten the implant, had he known of the risks
The Zimmer hip lawsuit placed sole blame for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering on the manufacturer for “defective design, warnings, construction and unreasonably dangerous character of the Durom Cup.”
The specific causes of action in the case include:
- Strict liability – failure to warn and instruct
- Strict liability – design defect
- Strict liability – manufacturing defect and failure to adhere to quality controls
- Breach of implied warranty
- Breach of express warranty
- Negligent misrepresentation
- Intentional misrepresentation
- Constructive fraud
- Unfair and deceptive trade practices
- Unjust enrichment
The claimant’s Zimmer hip lawyer contends that the defendants “purposefully concealed, failed to disclose, misstated, downplayed, and understated the health hazards and risks associated with the use of the Durom Cup.” The complaint stated that Zimmer issued a “Dear Doctor” letter to physicians in May 2008 that suggested Durom Cup defects were arising “because of doctors’ surgical techniques,” which the plaintiff and his lawyer found to be wholly inadequate in relaying the risks of the product to physicians who were implanting the devices.
Plaintiff seeks more than $75,000 in damages
The plaintiff is seeking compensation for past, present, and future pain and suffering; severe and possibly permanent injuries; emotional distress; disability; disfigurement; economic damages (including medical and hospital expenses); monitoring rehabilitative and pharmaceutical costs; and lost wages and loss of future earnings.