Zimmer Hip Problems Led to Bilateral Revision Surgery, Plaintiff Alleges
A plaintiff has filed a new Zimmer hip implant lawsuit, joining dozens of other cases currently pending in multidistrict litigation in New Jersey. The plaintiff in this case alleges he suffered excruciating Zimmer hip problems after being implanted with the Durom Cup in both hips, which required risky revision surgery on both hips within a few short years.
Durom cup lawsuit joins multidistrict litigation
The plaintiff in this case, Kenneth Schopp, filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on October 17, 2013. The case will be overseen by Judge Susan D. Wigenton, who has been assigned to oversee coordination of Zimmer hip lawsuits in the court. Multidistrict litigation was established in 2010 in order to streamline early trial proceedings for the convenience of all parties involved in the litigation.
In his complaint, Schopp states he underwent his first replacement surgery on his left hip on October 1, 2008. His second replacement surgery on his right hip was performed June 11, 2009. During both surgeries, Schopp was implanted with Zimmer Durom Cups, which are metal-on-metal hip devices. Shortly after his replacement procedures, Schopp began experiencing severe Zimmer hip problems, including pain and disability.
Upon investigation, it was discovered that Schopp had developed metallosis, a condition in which metal components in the hip implant rub together and cause tiny metal particles to be released into surrounding tissue. This condition can lead to tissue death and bone loss in the joint if it is left untreated. The only effective treatment for metallosis is removal of the defective implants, replacing them with new devices.
Risks of revision surgery
Unfortunately, revision surgery carries additional risks over the initial hip implant procedure. Damage to the bone from the initial hip implant can increase risk for loosening or dislocation of the new components. Other medical conditions may be aggravated during revision surgery as well, leading to an increased risk for stroke, or heart or lung complications. Rehabilitation may take longer and the cost of the surgery may be higher.
According to the complaint, Schopp’s Zimmer hip problems led to the need for bilateral removal and replacement of his hip implants. The revision surgeries took place on April 17, 2013, and May 8, 2013. Since those procedures, Schopp states he has continued to suffer “serious bodily injury, pain and harm.” He has also required additional medical treatment, which has been financially costly and is expected to continue in the future.
Zimmer Durom Cup faces more problems
The Zimmer Durom Cup has been reported to cause serious complications, as well as the need for revision surgery. The device was originally marketed to younger, more active patients by Zimmer, claiming the metal-on-metal construction would be more durable and allow for more free range of motion. However, it wasn’t long after the device was introduced to the market that complaints of defective implants were reported.
In 2008, Zimmer temporarily suspended sales of the Durom Cup, in order to investigate some of the complaints involving the device. Shortly thereafter, Zimmer resumed sale of the product, including further instructions for surgeons in the correct procedures to implant the device. The company determined that surgeon error, not a defect in the device, was the cause of the problems reported.
Sadly, this allowed more patients like Schopp to receive the Zimmer Durom Cup, without knowledge of the potential risks linked to the device. Like Schopp, other patients continue to suffer complications like implant failure, metallosis and persistent pain. Many have had to undergo revision surgery in an effort to correct the problems.
Schopp is now seeking actual, treble and punitive damages against Zimmer, in an amount to be determined at the time of trial. Counts against Zimmer in this complaint include failure to warn, defective design, and breach of warranty. Schopp’s spouse, Cathy Schopp, is also listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, claiming her husband’s injuries led to her loss of consortium, comfort and care.
- American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Joint Revision Surgery – When do I Need It? http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00510
- FDA, Concerns about Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants, http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/MetalonMetalHipImplants/ucm241604.htm
- Orthopaedics Ones, Metallosis of the Resurfaced Hip, http://www.orthopaedicsone.com/display/Meetings/Metallosis+of+the+Resurfaced+Hip