Friday, January 13, 2012

Canadian Judge Approves Class Action Zimmer Hip Implant Lawsuit

Canadian hip implant patients who have suffered side effects or complications from use of the Zimmer Durom Cup acetabular device are eligible to join a class action lawsuit against the company, Justice Gregory Bowden has ruled. So far, 35 Canadians have reported problems with the device, but the lawyer responsible for the Zimmer hip class action lawsuit says that ultimately up to 100 Canadians are expected to join the suit.

The Zimmer hip class action lawsuit is welcome news to the patients who have required hip revision surgery or have experienced joint pain, immobility, stiffness, inflammation, and/or diminished range of motion as a result of using the Zimmer Durom Cup.

Initial Zimmer Hip Lawsuits

Dennis Jones and Susan Wilkinson are the representative plaintiffs in the Zimmer hip class action lawsuit. Susan Wilkinson, age 51, first received the Zimmer Durom Cup implant in 2008. According to the lawsuit, within three months she began experiencing serious hip side effects including pain in her leg and hip, a clicking sound in the implant, and the feeling that the implant was coming loose. Within a year, the pain had become so strong that Wilkinson constantly needed to take potent painkillers and required a cane in order to walk. Because of this, she was forced to take time off from her job, and she was no longer able to enjoy her favorite leisure time activities such as skiing, gardening, and participating in the Canadian sport of curling. In late 2009 she underwent revision surgery and had the Durom cup replaced.

Development of a Hip or Knee Implant Registry

Some experts have called for a joint registry in the U.S., similar to those in other countries including Australia and Great Britain. A joint registry would track patients who have had hip or knee replacements to see how well they fare after surgery and whether they experience any side effects or other complications. With such a registry, a doctor whose patient is having problems with an implant could tell if it is an isolated incident, or whether problems with this particular Zimmer hip implant failure are widespread. In addition, a doctor whose patient needed an implant could check the registry in advance and thus avoid recommending an implant that seems problematic or risky.