Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zimmer Durom Cup Trials Move Forward in MDL

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) issued a warning in October 2010 about potential the risk of metal poisoning from hip replacements, indicating that patients and the medical community should be aware that pain months after hip surgery may be a sign of cobalt toxicity. Since then, lawsuits involving Zimmer’s Durom Cup hip replacement have sky rocketed due to both; Metallosis and Zimmer hip implant failures. Zimmer announced that it had set aside $150 million to deal with any and all settlements concerning their defective hip but, since more and more lawsuits keep coming forward, this number is sure to grow.

Zimmer has suspended sales of the Durom Cup in the United States and asked doctors to stop implanting them immediately. It is their belief that doctors are not using the proper surgical technique required to avoid problems. The company has announced that they will correct the product’s labeling to provide more detailed instructions to doctors and implement surgical training programs in the United States. The Zimmer Durom Cup was approved in the United States in 2006 for use during total hip replacement, or total hip arthroplasty. The component has been implanted in over 12,000 patients. According to information released by Zimmer, some doctors have encountered post-hip surgery problems requiring Zimmer hip revision surgery as much as 5.7% of the time.

Although Zimmer Durom Cup settlement agreements have reportedly been reached in a number of Zimmer hip lawsuits, and mediations are continuing in other claims, at least seven lawsuits were designated early last month as “Non-Settling Cases”, which will allow discovery to begin. In June 2010, all product lawsuits filed in federal courts throughout the United States over problems with Zimmer Durom Cup hip replacements were consolidated and centralized as part of an MDL in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. This litigation is now starting to move forward, as Zimmer has been ordered to answer or respond to the complaints in a number of cases where mediation has occurred and no settlement has been reached.

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