In June 2010, 240 Zimmer hip lawsuits were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. Court for the District of New Jersey. Nearly five years later, that number continues to grow, with new cases filed as recently as December 2014.
Zimmer Holdings is a medical device manufacturer based in Warsaw, IN. In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved Zimmer’s new Durom Acetabular Component, or Durom Cup, for use in total hip replacement systems. Just one year later, a prominent Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon found that patients in whom he had implanted the Durom Cup were in agony, and required expensive revision surgery. According to The New York Times, the doctor, who was a consultant of Zimmer, told the company what he had observed and publically stated that the design of the Durom Cup was “bad.”
In 2008, Zimmer briefly suspended sale of the Durom Cup, citing a need “to update labeling to provide more detailed surgical technique instructions to surgeons”. It reintroduced the Durom Cup in August of the same year with updated instructions for use. The company also sent out various letters to surgeons, providing updated guidelines for patient management and revised surgical technique documents. According to another New York Times article, Zimmer stated that only a small percentage of the roughly 12,000 patients who had received a Durom Cup implant would need revision surgery (the exact projected rate was not disclosed).
As time wore on, however, the failure rate for Zimmer Durom Cups was revealed to be anything but low. A 2011 study published in Hip International found rates for revision surgery to be as high as 15 percent, meaning nearly 2,000 patients who had received the Durom Cup would have to pay for and suffer through revision surgery.
According to plaintiffs in Zimmer hip lawsuits, the Durom Cup was defectively designed and is prone to deterioration and dislocation. Furthermore, the metal-on-metal design of the product leads to toxic metal particles being released into the patient’s bloodstream. These metal ions can build up in the soft tissues of the body and result in metallosis, which has been linked to fatigue, dizziness, and extreme pain, and which often necessitates revision surgery.
Remember to check with your doctor before undergoing any changes to your healthcare plan. The attorneys at Lopez McHugh understand how expensive and painful revision surgery can be, and are committed to helping patients who have been injured by defective medical devices. If you or someone you know has suffered from a failed Zimmer Durom Cup implant, contact our lawyers now for a free consultation. You may qualify for compensation through a Zimmer hip lawsuit.