Allegedly Defective Zimmer Hip Implant Led to Disability, Disfigurement
Another Zimmer hip lawsuit was recently added to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) No. 2158 for pretrial proceedings. A Maine woman filed her lawsuit on March 25, 2014, alleging that Zimmer’s Durom Cup implant caused significant pain and disability, and forced her to undergo revision surgery.
Carolyn O. Eaton demands compensatory damages in excess of $75,000 for economic and non-economic losses as a result of the defendants’ allegedly defective device.
The MDL is a type of proceeding in which numerous plaintiffs join together for pretrial proceedings against a common defendant. They share similar allegations and statements of fact. After pretrial proceedings are complete and the bellwether trials, or initial group of trials, have reached resolutions, the remaining lawsuits will be remanded back to their home districts for resolution if Zimmer hip settlements are not reached. This particular MDL is proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey before the Honorable Judge Susan D. Wigenton.
Zimmer hip implant apparently failed
The plaintiff underwent a total hip replacement surgery for her right hip on December 20, 2006 at a hospital in Maine. Hip replacement surgeries are a common type of orthopedic surgery in which the damaged or diseased cartilage and bone from the hip joint are removed. The surgeon inserts an artificial implant to take the place of the natural joint. These procedures are performed to restore mobility to the patient and eliminate the pain caused by orthopedic problems such as osteoarthritis.
During her surgery, Eaton received a Zimmer Durom Acetabular component, which is a metal cup socket – also known as the Durom cup. She also received metal femoral components, which are a ball and stem that fit into the cup component. Together, these components comprise a metal-on-metal implant.
At some unspecified time after her surgery, the plaintiff began to experience pain and discomfort, allegedly caused by the metal-on-metal implant. Her Zimmer hip lawsuit contends that she also experienced symptoms that indicated the implant was loosening and failing. While these specific symptoms were not described in the complaint, typically patients with a failing implant suffer from thigh pain during walking, which usually radiates to the knee. When the acetabular cup loosens, the patient typically suffers from pain in the groin region when standing up from a seated position.
On January 14, 2013, Carolyn Eaton underwent another orthopedic surgery to remove the Durom cup and replace it, a procedure known as a revision surgery. During the course of the Zimmer hip revision surgery, it was noted that the Durom Cup had failed to properly bond, reportedly causing the problem with loosening of the device.
Plaintiff claims product was defective and dangerous
The complaint alleges the Durom Cup hip implant is defective in design and manufacture, and that it was “sold without the provision of reasonable instructions or warnings regarding the foreseeable risks of harm.” The plaintiff claims the defendants breached their duty to sell a product that was reasonably safe.
The plaintiff’s lawsuit demands compensation from Zimmer for her past and future medical expenses, other related hospital and monitoring expenses, pharmaceutical costs, and rehabilitative costs. Due to her surgeries and disability, the plaintiff suffered the loss of wages and demands compensation for her lost earnings. She further demands that Zimmer be held liable for her pain and suffering, disability, and disfigurement.
- Orthopaedic Research Institute, The Hip Joint, http://www.ori.org.au/hipjoint/failing.html
- WebMD, Hip Replacement Surgery, http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/surgery-hip-replacement