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Crippling Injuries Subject of Zimmer Durom Cup Lawsuit

Another recipient of the Durom Acetabular Component, better known as the Zimmer Durom Cup, is suing the manufacturer based on injuries she sustained from its alleged defective nature. The case was filed on May 28, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Columbus). Plaintiff Mary Saunders was forced to undergo Zimmer hip revision surgery less than five years after she had the hip replacement implanted. According to court documents, the failed Durom Cup has caused Saunders to suffer injuries “including great pain and agony that restricted her ability to engage in the physical activities she enjoys, and has affected her ability to perform basic household chores and yard work.”

For her physical and emotional pain and suffering, the plaintiff is requesting in excess of $75,000 in her Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuit. Among the causes of action brought against the defendant are strict products liability; defective manufacturing; design defect; defect due to inadequate warning; negligence; non-conformance with representations; fraud; breach of implied warranty; unjust enrichment; and punitive damages.

Durom Cup synonymous with early failure rates

When Zimmer first launched the Durom Cup in 2006, it marketed the implant to active, young patients, promising the unique design and materials yielded a better range of motion compared to traditional hip replacements. Plaintiff Mary Saunders had the Durom Cup surgically implanted on June 19, 2007, and due to premature failure and chronic pain, went back into surgery on July 16, 2012 to have the device removed and replaced with a different hip replacement. Her hip replacement complications mirror those of hundreds of other people who were swayed by Zimmer’s persuasive marketing that targeted an outgoing generation of baby boomers.

 Some of the complications named in Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuit complaints:

  • Severe pain in the hip and pelvic area
  • Inflammation
  • Reduced mobility
  • Loosening of the device, where the cup pops free of the hip socket
  • High rates of hip replacement revision surgery

The early failure rates of the Durom Cup may be as high as 24 percent – nearly four times higher than Zimmer’s projected failure rate of 5.7 percent.  Dr. Larry Dorr, a respected orthopedic surgeon and previous Zimmer consultant, voiced his concerns over the design flaws of the Durom Cup, after reviewing data from thousands of his hip replacement patients. Dorr and other physicians who had used the metal hip replacement said that X-rays showed the socket was separating from bone, rather than fusing with it.

For an artificial hip that was marketed to last upwards of 15 years, the Durom Cup was failing within months or the first few years after implantation. 

Dr. Larry Dorr highlights flaws of Zimmer’s Durom Cup

On April 22, 2008, Dr. Dorr sent a letter to his colleagues at the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons calling attention to design defects in the Durom Cup. Out of 165 patients who received the Durom Cup, 14 of these required revision surgery within just two years because the fixation on the device was not sufficient.  For thousands of patients, including Mary Saunders, this fixation flaw and subsequent failure for the implant to adhere to the bone meant agony as the metal cup jostled within the hip socket, grinding against the bone. As a consequence, Saunders was unable to walk after the Zimmer hip implant began to fail.

Reports of such crippling effects on patients and Dr. Dorr’s open criticism prompted Zimmer to stop sales of the Durom Cup for a brief period in 2008. Several weeks later, the manufacturer re-released the Zimmer Durom Cup with revised surgical instructions for physicians. Zimmer absolved itself of any allegations of defects with the device, blaming complications on “surgeon error.”

Mary Saunders claims in her Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuit that the quality of her life has been dramatically reduced by her injuries, and is seeking compensation for her past and future medical expenses, pain, suffering and other losses.