Zimmer Hip Lawsuit Settlement
Zimmer Holdings, Inc., manufacturer of the highly-problematic Durom Acetabular Component, has spent much of the past several months responding to and settling hundreds of personal injury, medical malpractice and product liability lawsuits involving injured patients across the United States.
Due to the procedural organization tool known as multidistrict litigation (MDL), Durom Cup victims have been able to consolidate their cases and work together toward a mutually positive resolution. To date, Zimmer has settled with Durom Cup victims for an amount totaling nearly $400 million – with plans to continue settling with plaintiffs in the near future.
Mediation & Zimmer hip lawsuit settlements
The failure rate of the Zimmer Durom Cup hip replacement is estimated to be around 30 percent – a significantly high rate of defect for a product touted to help hip patients restore mobility and regain lifestyle independence. The implant, which was temporary suspended in 2008, re-entered the market a short time later and has been associated with widespread joint pain and discomfort, requiring many to need revision surgery and follow-up rehabilitation.
As Durom Cup lawsuits continue to emerge, the company has settled approximately 100 claims as part of a MDL filed in 2010 in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Many of these cases were successfully resolved through efforts in mediation – which often proves to be an effective method of alternative dispute resolution.
However, hundreds more Durom Cup cases continue to flood the state and federal civil courts, requiring Zimmer to initially set aside a settlement fund totaling nearly $50 million – eventually upping the $145 million earmarked in 2010. The current amount available for Durom Cup payouts has presumably grown since then as thousands more plaintiffs have come forward with allegations of metallosis and other severe complications. In one SEC filing in 2012, Zimmer revealed it had paid over $388 million in claims relating to Durom Cup products, and expected to pay out an additional $230 million to injured plaintiffs before all matters were finally resolved.
Current status of Durom Cup lawsuits
Nationwide, Zimmer hip lawsuits are continually filed across the U.S., many of which are transferred and added to the MDL set up in New Jersey district court. However, not every lawsuit against Zimmer Holdings, Inc. is necessarily added as a component to the New Jersey MDL, and many plaintiffs have opted to forge ahead with their case in their own jurisdiction. For instance, recent state court filings have commenced in Idaho, New York and Florida. While it’s possible these cases may be transferred to MDL, plaintiffs are not required to join this consolidated litigation and are free to pursue compensation on their own.
As with any civil litigation, a handful of Durom Cup cases have resulted in a full trial on the merits. While certainly a more costly option than mediation and settlement, plaintiffs pursuing compensation in a jury trial may receive sizable compensation from a compassionate and commiserate jury.
Potential Durom cup injury settlements to address financial losses
A Zimmer hip lawsuit can help injured plaintiffs recover any money spent as a result of the defective product that they would not have had to spend otherwise. Civil lawsuits, which are meant to make a plaintiff “whole” again, can result in compensation for any of the following:
- Medical expenses associated with revision surgery, rehabilitation and prescription medication required as a result of the defective Durom Cup;
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Compensation for pain and suffering, particularly for cases involving significantly debilitating injuries
Zimmer hip lawsuits fall under the category of product liability, which is a sub-sect of negligence law. To establish a consumer product as defective, thereby triggering liability, the plaintiff must successfully plead either (i) the product was defectively designed; (ii) the product was not manufactured properly; (iii) the product maker knew of the risks (or should have known) and did not properly warn consumers. Liability may also be established for failing to properly test a product prior to placing it in the consumer marketplace or deceptively marketing the product as safe.
In some scenarios, plaintiffs may be unable to fully recovery for injuries sustained as a result of alleged Durom Cup failures. For instance, many civil lawsuits present issues with causation – an essential element of any negligence action that requires a connection between the defective product and the resulting injury. It is not uncommon for device manufacturers to make allegations against a plaintiff – citing evidence to suggest the plaintiff’s activity level or other issues contributed to the need for revision surgery, not a defect in the product itself.
The Durom Cup model is alleged to contain porous metal alloys that, when used as a hip replacement product, result in premature device loosening and early failure. Many plaintiffs have endured such difficulty with their Durom Cup product that removal and revision surgery was necessary to correct the problem. These claimants continue to pursue Zimmer hip lawsuit settlements or verdicts to recoup monetary damages and other non-economic losses. Qualified Zimmer hip lawyers are offering free case reviews across the country for injured victims who believe they may be entitled to compensation.
- Zimmer, Urgent Device Correction Notice http://www.zimmer.com/content/pdf/en-US/DUROM-SURGEON-LETTER-07-22-08.pdf
- FDA, Medical Device Recalls http://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/implantsandprosthetics/metalonmetalhipimplants/ucm241770.htm
- SEC.gov, Zimmer, Inc. filing, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1136869/000119312512207647/R20.htm