Zimmer, the manufacturer of a Durom Cup knee device, temporarily suspended its sale in 2008. This created a great deal of interest among patients who had the device. Many lawsuits were filed under what was seen as a “Zimmer hip recall.” Zimmer did, however, resume sale of the device, although that has not stopped the increase of many individual Zimmer lawsuits. A Judicial Panel has taken the many individual lawsuits, and consolidated them into multidistrict litigation (MDL). This is addition to possible class action lawsuits.
MDL is an approach to litigation which consolidates related individual lawsuits that have many facts and issues in common, such as the Zimmer patients’ alleged problems. The decision to form an MDL is made by federal judges. The rationale of an MDL is that there will be streamlined efficiencies such as in the pre-trial process. This can cover individual cases from all over the United States to be heard before one federal judge. Lawyers can also join the MDL with additional Zimmer hip lawsuits.
And, Zimmer hip lawsuits in an MDL can also go to mediation; where the lawyers can negotiate a settlement. This is a quicker process, eliminating the need for a possibly lengthy trial.
Zimmer Inc. MDL and Class Action Lawsuits
Another approach is the class action lawsuit. This is often confused with an MDL, but there are subtle differences. In a class action, many Zimmer hip lawsuits would be grouped and heard as a single case, not individual cases. Class action suits are most common when all plaintiffs are alleging compensatory damages. If compensation is awarded, the full amount of the settlement is split evenly between all of the plaintiffs. The amount of the settlement could be high enough to bring a company into financial ruin. Though this type of litigation may be favored in certain circumstances, a Zimmer hip lawyer will likely file a new Zimmer hip lawsuit as part of the MDL. Currently, the only Zimmer class action lawsuit has been filed in Canada.