Zimmer Hip Replacement Lawsuit – Durom Cup Implant Failure

Plaintiffs Demand Compensation from Zimmer for Unprecedented Failure

Jacky Gale | April 28th, 2014

Zimmer Hip Replacement Lawsuit A family from New York has filed a Zimmer hip replacement lawsuit demanding compensation for the alleged “unprecedented failure” of the defendants’ hip implant.

The lawsuit involves the alleged defective design and manufacture of the Durom Acetabular Component, or Durom Cup. The complaint was filed on April 15, 2014 on behalf of Michael and Susan Wren. It is currently proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York before Judge Thomas J. McAvoy and the parties have been ordered to engage in mandatory mediation.

Plaintiff requires multiple revision surgeries

Michael Wren underwent a total hip replacement surgery for his left hip on March 26, 2007, during which the surgeon removed the diseased or damaged components of his joint and replaced them with the Zimmer Durom Cup. On October 22, 2007, the plaintiff received the same artificial hip prosthesis in his right hip.

At an unspecified time thereafter, the plaintiff began to experience complications from the device. He complains of multiple physical injuries in addition to extreme emotional distress. He suffers from localized tissue and bone damage and necrosis from the metallic fragments that rub off from the device.

Due to the reported failure of the device, the plaintiff was forced to undergo revision surgery for his left hip implant on January 21, 2014. He expects to require revision surgery on his right hip implant as well. The lawsuit demands compensation in excess of $150,000 for his significant pain, physical injuries, and diminished quality of life. The plaintiff is no longer physically able to enjoy the activities he previously did and he has also reported a loss of earning capacity. His wife, Susan Wren, is demanding compensation for her loss of society, love, comfort, and support.

Durom Cup design allegedly defective

Since Zimmer was founded in 1927, it has grown into a global company that has cornered about 70 percent of the U.S. hip and knee replacement market, which was valued at $6.7 billion dollars in 2008. Designing, manufacturing, and marketing hip implants such as the Durom Cup brings in a significant portion of their revenue. The Durom Cup implant was designed in a manner unlike typical hip implants. Rather than being cemented or screwed to secure it in place within the patient’s body, it is designed to adhere to the hip bone. The porous exterior is sprayed with a certain substance designed to facilitate this process. The designers of the implant intended for the bone to grow into the Cup’s exterior, thus anchoring it in place.

However, according to this hip replacement lawsuit filed against Zimmer, this process is faulty and fails to occur. Instead, the plaintiffs allege the implant is resistant to the effects of bone regrowth and pops free of the hip, often inflicting damage to pelvic bone. Although the metal-on-metal hip implant was marketed toward younger patients such as the plaintiff who wanted to maintain their active lifestyles, many recipients have found their ability to carry out day to day tasks significantly reduced.

According to the Zimmer hip replacement lawsuit, the plaintiff should have been warned by the defendants of the high rate of failure, which is roughly 24 percent by some estimates. The plaintiffs demand that Zimmer be held liable for this “unprecedented failure rate.”

  1. WebMD, Hip Replacement Surgery, http://www.webmd.com/arthritis/surgery-hip-replacement 

  2. Zimmer, Hip Pain Relief: Surgical Treatment Options, http://www.zimmer.com/en-US/pc/article/hip-pain-surgical-treatments.jspx