Lawsuit Alleges Zimmer Hip Revision Surgery Required in Less than Four Years
A plaintiff has filed a new lawsuit against Zimmer, alleging he had to undergo Zimmer hip revision surgery less than four years after receiving his original Durom cup device. The plaintiff is now seeking damages from the device manufacturer, claiming he has suffered persistent pain and other symptoms since his initial surgery.
Zimmer lawsuit transferred to federal MDL
The lawsuit alleging serious Zimmer Durom cup defects was first filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Illinois on August 16, 2013. On September 6, the case was closed in that court and transferred to multidistrict litigation in New Jersey. Multidistrict litigation was established for Zimmer lawsuits in 2010 after multiple plaintiffs alleged similar complications with the device. Multidistrict litigation is used to streamline early trial proceedings when cases with similar complaints are filed against a single defendant.
The plaintiff in this complaint, Robert Stevenson, states he underwent his initial hip replacement surgery on December 2, 2009. At that time, Stevenson’s diseased ball and socket were removed from the hip joint, and replaced with metal-on-metal Durom cup components. After the surgery, Stevenson claims he suffered symptoms of a loose joint, including pain and reduced mobility.
Less than four years later, after Stevenson had experienced ongoing complications with his hip replacement device, it was discovered the implant failed to bond properly with the bone. These devices were designed to integrate with the remaining bone, for a more durable, longer-lasting implant. However if bonding does not occur, the patient can experience persistent pain, swelling and difficulty walking or standing for long periods.
Complaints about Durom cup ongoing
Stevenson’s complaints about Zimmer Durom cup defects are not new. This implant device was approved for use in the United States in 2006, with around 12,000 Americans receiving a Durom cup device between 2006 and 2008. However, reports of serious complications with the device began to concern medical professionals, as well as the FDA.
In 2013, the agency released a new safety communication listing the unique risks to metal-on-metal hip implants like the Durom cup. In addition to early failure, risks also include metal contamination as the components rub together and release metal ions into surrounding tissue and the bloodstream. This release followed action in other countries, including a voluntary recall of the Durom cup in the U.K. in 2008.
Plaintiff undergoes Zimmer hip revision surgery
In Stevenson’s case, the improper bonding required Zimmer hip revision surgery on June 11, 2013 – less than four years after the initial procedure. Hip implants are typically supposed to last between 10 and 15 years before revision surgery is needed. Revision surgery carries additional risks, including loosening of the joint, joint dislocation and bone fractures. In addition, rehabilitation may take longer after a revision surgery, resulting in higher post-operative costs and lost work time.
Stevenson states that due to his complications and need for corrective surgery, he has suffered “past, present and future pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement.” He has also incurred medical and rehabilitative costs, in addition to lost wages for the time he has been unable to work. Stevenson is now seeking damages from Zimmer in excess of $75,000.
Stevenson joins thousands of others who have complained of serious complications associated with their Zimmer Durom cup implants. Many of those patients have filed lawsuits against Zimmer, which are now pending in the federal MDL and across the country. Many of those cases have been settled prior to trial, costing Zimmer more than $388 million thus far. It is likely Zimmer will pay out another $230 million in Durom Cup settlements to resolve remaining claims.
- FDA, Metal on Metal Hip Implants, http://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/implantsandprosthetics/metalonmetalhipimplants/default.htm
- FDA, Safety Communication, Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants, http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm335775.htm
- American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Questions and Answers about Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants, http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00625
- British Medical Journal, Ongoing Problems with Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants, http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e1349