Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Zimmer Sets aside $150m for Settlements, 45 Lawsuits go into Mediation

Judge Susan Wigenton of the New Jersey federal court has ordered that 45 lawsuits brought against Zimmer Inc. should go forward into mediation. A third party mediator will be set up to distribute compensation due to side effects and failure of Zimmer’s Durom Cup, used in their hip replacements. $150 million has been set up by Zimmer to compensate the plaintiffs, many of whom suffered severe pain due to the breakdown of the Durom cup, in many cases, within 2-3 years of their initial surgery.

Many patients have required hip revision surgery due to faulty engineering of Zimmer’s recalled product.
According to their website, Zimmer's 2010 sales were approximately $4.2 billion, with operations in more than 25 countries. In 2006 Zimmer Durom Cup Hip Implants were approved for use in the United States. Within less than 2 years, more than 12,000 patients were using a Durom Cup as a replacement device. Zimmer has not yet conceded that their product is defective but, according to their lawyers, in order to give itself time to develop a better training program for American surgeons, Zimmer voluntarily pulled the cup from the American market in July, 2008. Unfortunately, recipients of joint replacement devices are not normally told which devices they are being implanted with.

Information about possible device failure first came to light in April 2008, when a surgeon in Los Angeles, Dr. Lawrence Dorr, publicly warned other orthopedists about cup failures his patients were experiencing. Since then, patience from around the country have come forward with similar complaints about their hip replacement device, most of which have been linked back to the Zimmer hip replacement. It is currently unclear how large the scale of these lawsuits can grow to, but it is sure to grow larger as more time passes from the original recall date.

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