Zimmer Durom Cup Lawsuit – Plaintiff Undergoes Hip Revision Surgery

Zimmer Durom Cup Lawsuit Alleges Early Device Failure

Ava Lawson | June 18th, 2013

Plaintiff Undergoes Hip Revision SurgerySaunders v. Zimmer Holdings et al is the latest Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuit to join the docket in Ohio district court. Allegations raised by plaintiff Mary Saunders claim that the early failure of her Durom Acetubular hip replacement required costly and painful revision surgery, causing her significant injuries and physical suffering that have greatly diminished the quality of her life.

During her original hip replacement surgery, damaged sections of the hip were replaced with smooth, artificial components to allow the joint to function properly. Unlike many prosthetic hips, the Zimmer Durom Cup is not cemented or screwed into place during implantation. Instead, it was designed to grow into the patient’s own hip bone. The implant’s porous surface is sprayed with a patented titanium coating that is supposed to facilitate acceptance and eventual in-growth with the human body. However, as dozens of injured patients have reported, the Durom Cup is prone to major complications, and is known to pop free from the hip, damaging the pelvic bone. This unintended result often triggers extreme pain and necessitates Zimmer hip revision surgery to remove the failed device and replace it with a hip implant that functions properly.

Zimmer suspends sales of Durom Cup in 2008

Mary Saunders and her physician selected the Durom Cup, as it was purported to offer better range of motion and more durability for active young patients. On June 19, 2007, she had the device surgically implanted, but less than five years later she was back on the operating table to have the implant taken out and replaced with a new product. Unexplained pain, inflammation, device loosening and difficulty walking or standing are just some of the complications cited in Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuit cases.

The manufacturer suspended sales of the metal-on-metal implant for several weeks in July 2008 to further analyze design issues that may have contributed to such high failure rates. Less than a month later, the Durom Cup was back on the market, with revised surgical instructions. Though Zimmer projected hip failure rates at 5.7 percent, post-marketing reports and leading orthopedic surgeons estimated this to be much higher – up to 24 percent. To date, the manufacturer has never formally issued a Durom Cup recall, and described their actions as a temporary sales suspension.

In her complaint, Mary Saunders charges Zimmer with the following negligent actions:

  • Failing to conduct adequate mechanical testing on components, subassemblies and/or finished Durom Cup
  • Failing to test an adequate number of sample devices on an ongoing basis
  • Failing to take corrective actions to eliminate or minimize further failures of the Durom Cup
  • Defendants fraudulently, intentionally, and/or recklessly concealed and failed to disclose to the public the dangers and higher failure rate of the Durom Cup in order to ensure continued and increased sales

Plaintiff’s surgeon notes “obvious” failure of Durom Cup

After experiencing terrible pain at the site of her Zimmer hip implant that never abated, the plaintiff returned to her surgeon who observed classic Durom Cup hip failure – where the metal cup failed to adhere to the bone, resulting in agonizing pain as the cup freely moved inside the hip socket and rubbed against bone. Mary Saunders alleges that as a direct result, she was unable to walk or move around normally once the Durom Cup began to fail.

For her medical costs, pain, suffering, emotional anguish and other losses, she is requesting actual and compensatory damages in her Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuit. For Zimmer’s alleged willful misconduct and blatant disregard for consumer safety, Saunders is also seeking punitive damages, in an amount to be determined at trial.

  1. Zimmer, Dear Surgeon Letter: Urgent Device Correction http://www.zimmer.com/content/pdf/en-US/DUROM-SURGEON-LETTER-07-22-08.pdf