Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Zimmer Hip Replacement Lawsuits in Multidistrict Litigation

Over five years ago Zimmer started receiving complaints of consumers who were facing severe side effects associated with the product. Now the litigation surrounding the case is close to being resolved, with dozens of plaintiffs waiting for a court decision that might gain them compensation for past and future medical bills for treatments that will help alleviate pain and suffering related to the conditions they have developed.
The Durom Cup is the name of the device in question, which was distributed widely across the country and was implanted in around 12,000 patients. The system was recalled briefly in 2008, but was quickly re-released with updated surgical instructions – but many patients and medical experts do not believe that this is sufficient to keep people safe from potential side effects. Side effects can include failure of the hip implant, which results in pain and movement problems and can sometimes necessitate a procedure known as a revision surgery, during which the faulty hip implant is removed and the patient is fitted with a new one. This can be both painful and risky, with a longer healing process than initial hip replacement surgeries due to already-damaged tissue.

Orthopedist Dr. Larry Dorr, who is renowned for his expertise in the field, conducted a study that led to the 2008 recall asserting that 9 percent of Durom Cup owners experienced device failure and the need for revision surgery within just two years of receiving the implant. Zimmer refused to acknowledge that their implant might be defective and instead placed blame on improper surgical technique. However, this claim did not stop the lawsuits that have been trickling in ever since.

Although federal Zimmer lawsuits are being consolidated in multidistrict litigation, which will help speed up the litigation process by consolidating pretrial proceedings in New Jersey, many more states have contributed lawsuits to the Zimmer case, including Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, and Kentucky. When the lawsuits were consolidated, there were 45 – but the number continues to grow.
Zimmer has set aside more than $140 million for the purposes of compensation involved in these lawsuits.

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