Monday, January 9, 2012

Zimmer Hip Defects Lead to More and More Lawsuits

A Zimmer hip lawsuit has been filed by Jocelyn Quinn of Louisiana, alleging that she has undergone severe pain and disfigurement due to the failing device. Her case has been transferred into the Zimmer hip multidistrict litigation (MDL) currently being carried out in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. As many as half a million Americans may have the all-metal hip implants, and a sizeable percentage of them are likely to file a lawsuit after their implants fail. The Zimmer Durom Cup was first introduced in the United States in 2006, as a more advanced form of an artificial hip. The hip resurfacing system is designed out of a single piece of material and is supposed to avoid problems associated with traditional hip replacement components, such as instability, limited range of motion and wear of the bearing.
In February 2011, the Food and Drug Administration stated that there are "unique risks" for "metal-on-metal" artificial hips because tiny metal ions can wear off and damage nearby tissue. Patients who have received all metal implants should be aware of potential symptoms which may occur after surgery and indicate that their device is not functioning properly. Over the past two years, concerns have increased about a risk metal hip replacement complications, resulting in use of the implants dropping to just 5% of the artificial hip market. While Zimmer’s own estimates in 2008 suggested that some doctors have experienced failure rates as high as 5.7%, more recent claims suggest that the Durom Cup failure rate is between 20% and 30%.
A temporary Zimmer Durom Cup recall was issued in July 2008, so that revisions could be made to the product’s warnings and instructions to ensure that doctors were properly trained on the surgical techniques needed to implant the artificial hip correctly. According to Quinn’s Zimmer hip lawyer, she never would have had the device installed had she been made aware of the defectiveness of the product. In a statement released on their website, Zimmer stated that a thorough check of the Durom Cup, including evaluation of the manufacturing processes, design specifications and product documentation, failed to reveal any evidence of a defect in the artificial hip part.

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