Zimmer Hip Lawsuit Alleges Years of Pain, Reduced Mobility
A plaintiff has filed a Zimmer hip revision surgery lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming his defective Zimmer Durom Cup implant caused him years of significant pain and reduced mobility.
The plaintiff did not undergo revision surgery for nearly six years, since his initial surgeon was unaware of the potential risk of early device failure associated with the Durom Cup.
Additional defendants named
Richard Bustamante filed his complaint on June 3, 2014. In addition to naming Zimmer as a defendant, Bustamante also names Intermed Orthopedics, a company responsible for distributing the device into the stream of commerce in California. An independent sales representative is also named individually as a defendant in this case. Bustamante claims that both Intermed and their representative provided the information and instruction Bustamante’s surgeon needed to implant the Durom Cup, but failed to warn the physician or patient about potential risks associated with the device.
According to the complaint, Bustamante underwent his hip replacement surgery in November 2006, just months after the device was approved for use in the United States. After the surgery, x-rays showed the implant was in the proper position and Bustamante experienced no infection or other complications during his recovery process. Despite the seemingly smooth recovery period, Bustamante began to experience severe pain and weakness in the hip shortly after surgery.
Zimmer hip revision surgery lawsuit alleges “catastrophic failure”
Bustamente underwent numerous x-ray examinations after his surgery, but x-rays did not indicate a problem with his Durom device. It was not until June 2012, when Bustamante finally underwent revision surgery with a different orthopedic surgeon, that the cause of the pain was discovered. During the surgery, the physician performing the operation discovered a loose acetabular component, loose femoral component and failed Durom Cup.
According to the manufacturer, the Durom Cup was designed to encourage bone in-growth to stabilize the implant into the joint. However, after nearly six years, Bustamante’s implant showed absolutely no sign of bone in-growth. In fact, a simple tap of edge of the cup dislodged the device from the hip, which meant the implant device had “catastrophically failed.” Although the implant was replaced, Bustamante states he continues to suffer both the physical and economic consequences of his first surgery.
Complications and early hip failure
Early implant failure can cause a number of complications for the patient. Loose components can lead to bone damage and metal poisoning if small metal particles fret away from the device and enter surrounding tissue and the blood stream. Revision surgery carries its own unique risks, due to the potential bone and tissue damage in the area. Recovery and rehabilitation often takes longer with revision surgery and creates significant additional expense in medical bills, rehabilitation costs and lost wages due to more time taken off work.
Due to his injuries and need for revision surgery, Bustamante is now seeking general, exemplary and punitive damages from Zimmer, Intermed Orthopedics and their sales representative. Bustamante claims he is looking for compensation for “past, present and future medical, hospital, monitoring, rehabilitative and pharmaceutical expenses,” as well as “loss of earnings and earning capacity.”
Bustamante is not the only plaintiff to seek damages from Zimmer for complications from the Durom Cup hip implant. Currently, more than 300 complaints are pending in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Like Bustamante, plaintiffs in those cases allege serious injuries as a result of their hip device, as well as the need for revision surgery in many of complaints. In 2008, Zimmer suspended sales of the Durom Cup due to inadequate surgical instructions. However, the device was placed back on the market that same year and continues to be used in some hip implant surgeries today.
- United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, MDL Statistics Report, http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-May-15-2014.pdf
- FDA, Medical Device Recalls, http://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/implantsandprosthetics/metalonmetalhipimplants/ucm241770.htm
- Hospital for Special Surgery, Revision Total Hip Replacement: An Overview, http://www.hss.edu/conditions_revision-total-hip-replacement-overview.asp
- American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Joint Revision Surgery – When do I Need it? http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00510