Zimmer Durom Hip Cup Lawsuit - Defective Metal Hip Implant

Zimmer Durom Hip Cup Lawsuit Filed by KY Couple

Katarina Siegfeld | October 27th, 2014

Scales of JusticeA Zimmer Durom hip cup lawsuit has been filed by a Kentucky couple over the damage purportedly inflicted by the defective hip replacement device.  In their complaint, Helen and Charles Schultz allege that both have suffered due to the hip failure that Helen sustained due to the defective design of the Durom Acetabular Component (popularly known as the “Durom Cup”).

The plaintiffs filed their lawsuit on September 20 in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Newark).  As part of a predetermined arrangement between the parties, Schultz et al v. Zimmer Holdings, Inc., et al (Case # 2:14-CV-06070) has been filed as part of the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL No. 2158) taking place in this court under the Honorable Susan D. Wigenton.  Judge Wigenton is the presiding judge for the litigation process that includes hundreds of similar consolidated cases.

The Schultzes have requested, however, that once the shared preliminary aspects of the MDL, including discovery, have been completed, the case should be transferred back to their home state of Kentucky, to a court in the western district of the state.

Zimmer Durom hip cup lawsuit filed

The complaint filed by the KY couple describes how the failed hip implant that Helen Schultz suffered has had negative impacts of both her and her husband.

Helen Schultz had the “Durom Cup” implanted in her left hip on June 4, 2007.  She and her doctor had been exposed to advertising which suggested that the hip implant would provide a greater range of motion and less wear than typical implants and that it was suitable for younger, more active patients. Instead, Helen Schultz found herself in great pain after the hip implant, restricted in her ability to enjoy the activities she once participated in and to complete household tasks that had been part of her routine.  It was later found that she had experienced “aseptic loosening” of the hip device that necessitated a second surgery, a revision that took place on October 21, 2013.

In addition, however, her husband Charles also suffered a change in his quality of life in that he was and will be “deprived of Helen Schultz’s love, affection, support, services, companionship, aid, comfort, society and consortium, all to his significant damage.”

Durom Cup’s design leads to injuries and lawsuits

Though the Durom Cup was marketed as safe, it’s novel design features (namely its lack of cement or screws to hold the device in place and its metal-on-metal construction) have allegedly led to injuries, loosening, and premature failure for many patients like Helen Schultz.  Whereas the device was designed to have the patient’s own bone growth secure the implant in place, the Durom Cup is reportedly coated with a substance that actually resists bone growth and leads to loosening.

The high failure rate (20-30%) of the device led the company to “temporarily” suspend sales after only two years on the market.  Yet despite concern from multiple expert sources, including Dr. Lawrence Dorr (a renowned orthopedic surgeon and once a Zimmer consultant himself), Zimmer has yet to issue a formal recall of the device.

Hundreds of Zimmer hip lawsuits have been consolidated as part of the MDL, with more complaints alleging Durom hip problems expected in the coming months.

  1. NY Times, F.D.A. Seeks to Tighten Regulation of All-Metal Hip Implants http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/business/fda-to-tighten-regulation-of-all-metal-hip-implants.html

  2. FDA Safety Communication: Metal on Metal Hip Implants, http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm335775.htm

  3. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Questions and Answers About Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants, http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00625