Zimmer Durom Cup Revision Lawsuit - Hip Replacement Failure

Business Troubles Cited in Zimmer Durom Cup Revision Lawsuit

Katarina Siegfeld | November 24th, 2014

Zimmer Hip Replacement X-RayThe complaint in the latest Zimmer Durom Cup revision lawsuit alleges business impediments as well as many personal troubles that the plaintiff suffered as the result of a failed hip implant.  The plaintiff is one of hundreds to file a lawsuit over the Durom Cup hip implants, whose allegedly faulty design has resulted in an unprecedented failure rate.

Brent E. Rhoads, a resident of Circleville, Ohio, is the owner and operator of Rhoads Farm Market and Splitrail Nursery.  He underwent surgery to have the Durom Acetabular Component (popularly known as the “Durom Cup”) implanted in November of 2006 at the age of 59.  Although the result of a one year check-up suggested that all was well, by November of 2012 he returned to the surgeon in constant pain.  An examination revealed mechanical looseness and implant failure which required that he undergo a second surgery to replace the failed device on December 31, 2012.

The pain that he suffered from the failed hip implant, as well as the exacerbation of a previous back problem, incapacitated Rhoads and prevented him from overseeing the daily operations of his business as well as participating in crucial business related travel.  His financial and professional struggles have been compounded by difficulties in his personal life, in which he was not able to participate in everyday activities, from putting on his own socks and shoes to playing with his grandchildren.

Zimmer Durom Cup revision lawsuit

Rhoads v. Zimmer Holdings Inc. et al was filed in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio (Columbus) under Judge Gregory L. Frost on November 6.  The complaint alleges that the early failure of the plaintiff’s hip was due to the Durom Cup’s poor design and that this rate is unusually and unacceptably high for a hip implant device.

The Durom Cup was designed not to require cement or screws to hold the component in place; rather, the device was sprayed with a substance that was to facilitate the natural growth and grafting of the patient’s own bone to the hip component.  However, subsequent studies suggest that this substance actually resists bone growth so that the hip replacement component ultimately loosens, potentially damaging the pelvic bone, and requiring revision surgery.  This is what happened to the plaintiff.

The case is potentially eligible to be incorporated as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2158) now taking place in Newark, NJ.

Zimmer warned of high failure rate as early as 2007

The Durom Cup was introduced in 2006; as early as 2007, experts such as renowned orthopedist Dr. Lawrence Dorr were informing Zimmer that their hip implant device was resulting in significant failure.  In 2008, Dr. Dorr took his complaints public, warning other surgeons (many of whom had also experienced troubles with the Durom Cup) of the problem.

It was only in May of 2008 that Zimmer began to investigate claims.  However, they did not suspend sales.  Such a suspension only took place on July 22, 2008.  At that time, the company blamed surgical technique for the failure rate and refused to acknowledge any design flaws with their product.  Sales were resumed a few months later, but the Durom Cup was never recalled.

  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