Hip Replacement Class Action Suits in Canada Target DePuy, Zimmer, Stryker

  • Written by: Staff Writers

A pair of class action lawsuits were filed this month in Canada against the manufacturers of defective hip replacement systems that were recalled in the United States in recent years. 

One of the complaints, which was filed in Quebec Superior Court, is a DePuy ASR class action lawsuit seeking to represent all Canadians who received the metal-on-metal hip replacement system that was recalled this summer due to high failure rates. The lawsuit was filed against DePuy Orthopaedics and it’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson.

The other hip replacement class action lawsuit was filed in Calgary, Halifax and Montreal against DePuy, as well as Zimmer and Stryker. That lawsuit alleges that all three companies released defective hip replacement systems that later had to be recalled.

In total, five models of hip implants have been targeted by the lawsuits. Both of the class action suits claim that thousands of Canadians suffered pain, discomfort, disability and had to often undergo painful and debilitating revision surgery due to the implants.

The implants named in the lawsuits include the DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, the DePuy ASR XL Acetabular Hip System, the Zimmer Durom Cup, the Stryker Trident Acetabular PSL Cup and the Stryker Trident Hemispherical Cup.

In August, DePuy recalled the ASR XL Acetabular Systems, saying that the metal-on-metal hip implant had a 13% failure rate. They also recalled the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, which had a 12% failure rate. Approximately 93,000 of the ASR hip replacements were sold prior to the recall, meaning that thousands of people worldwide are likely to experience problems with the DePuy hip replacement within a few years after the implant.

The DePuy ASR is a metal-on-metal hip replacement system developed in 2005. Health care professionals have increasingly been warning about problems with metal-on-metal hip implants, which can shed metal particles into the body. The particles can damage soft tissue, cause inflammatory reactions and lead to bone loss. The DePuy ASR hip failures appear to be linked to a defective design of the acetabular cup, which is shallower than acetabular cups made by other companies, making it prone to problems.

In the United States, a growing number of individuals have filed a DePuy ASR hip replacement lawsuit after experiencing problems from the defective implant. All of the claims involve similar allegations of design defect, which caused the plaintiffs to incur additional medical expenses, suffer pain and, in some cases, require additional surgery to revise or replace the hip implant. The complaints allege that DePuy failed to adequately test the metal-on-metal hip system and failed to immediately issue a recall when it became apparent that that the DePuy ASR was linked to a high failure rate.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heard oral arguments about whether to consolidate the DePuy ASR recall litigation. It is expected that all federal lawsuits filed throughout the United States will be centralized before one judge for pretrial proceedings. While the cases would be handled in a manner similar to how a Depuy hip replacement class action lawsuit would be managed, the claims would remain individual cases.

The Zimmer Durom Cup hip implant was designed as a more advanced form of a hip resurfacing system. The device 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.

Shortly after Zimmer introduced the Durom Cup in the United States, concerns emerged about a high number of hip replacement failures involving the hip implant, where the component loosened and required revision surgery. A temporary Zimmer Durom Cup recall was issued in the United States in July 2008, so that modifications 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. However, in Canada, sales were allowed to continue and Zimmer did not issue a safety notice in Canada until November 15, 2009, more than a year later.

While Zimmer’s own estimates in 2008 suggested that some doctors in the United States experienced failure rates as high as 5.7%, more recent claims made in Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuits suggest that the artificial hip failure rate is between 20% and 30%.

Last month, another Zimmer Durom Cup hip replacement class action lawsuit was filed in Canada by a man who received the implant in October 2008, following the temporary suspension of sales in the United States.

In the United States, the federal Zimmer Durom Cup recall litigation has been consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). As of June, there were 45 cases filed in federal courts throughout the U.S., but as additional cases are filed by Zimmer Durom Cup lawyers in federal court, they will be transferred to New Jersey for coordinated handling.

The Stryker Trident Cup is a ceramic-on-ceramic hip replacement system. A Stryker Trident recall was issued in January 2008, after it was discovered that manufacturing problems may have resulted in some parts not meeting the proper standards for sterility. A number of individuals who received the artificial hip have complained about problems following a Stryker Trident hip replacement, including reports of squeaking of the implant and loosening of the parts, sometimes resulting in hip revision surgery.

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  1. Marcie Reply

    In Dec 2008 I had a hip replacement I have a Zimmer trio G Cup 48
    I don’t know if it is on the recall list or not My Surgen can’t tell me as he quit 1 week after the surgery I have had problems for the last 2 years
    Can someone let me know if This a bad one.

  2. Karen Reply

    In June 2008 I had my left hip replaced. A Stryker prosthesis was used. From the very beginning, I felt there was something wrong from the very beginning & kept telling the doctor. The physio went well but from day one, I couldn’t walk. My physio lasted much longer than normal & I did my own physio at home for over a year. The physio nor the exercises that I did on my own made any difference. I could not walk & still can’t walk without my walker or crutch. My surgeon was not interested in investigating why. My hip dislocated twice. It was absolutely torture. Both times, I was sitting down when it happened. I got a new surgeon. He’s great. He replaced my right hip in June 2009 using an Anterior Approach and a Wright Medico Prosthesis. It was and is perfect. Before he could perform revision surgery on my left hip, it dislocated again. More torture. My surgeon kept me in the hospital and removed the old prosthesis and replaced the ball with one that was a couple of centimeters short of double the size of the old ball. To me that spoke volumes. Was the ball always too small? Is that why it simply “slipped out” the second time? He then said he to look at the muscles & said there was a lot of muscle damage. He repaired the muscles. More physio that went on for a long time & I still do the physio at home. Now almost 3 years later, I cannot walk. It takes every single bit of my energy to do the simplest tasks. My new surgeon now says that he doesn’t think I will see any more improvement. Maybe slight. My whole life has changed and for the worse. Every aspect of my life. How can someone who used to be a professional skater, who used to play competitive tennis, who is slim, strong, end up like this? I just feel in my heart that something went wrong during the first hip replacement. What can I do? I think I have a right to sue this doctor. I have not gone to a lawyer yet but another of my doctors gave me the name of a lawyer who deals with medical malpractice. I will call him soon. Is there anyone else out there like me who has a similar story. Can anyone help me?

  3. Kirk Reply

    Stryker Trident Acetabular PSL and the Hemispherical cup ceramic on ceramic, the operation date May 2009 no pain “squeaky noise ” started Feb.2011 did follow up at the surgeons and was told x-rays looked ok and not to worry about the “noise” he said he had heard nothing about the re-calls. Now 28 months later Sept. 2011having pain issues in the groin area along with the squeaky noise, just about the same pain level as I had just before the operation, along with limited movement now also. Where can I get a copy of the re call lot numbers of the Stryker components?

  4. Oddny Reply

    I had a right hip replaced in July 2000 – it is working great.

    I had a left hip replacement in March 2001 — it has dislocated 3 times
    I have not had it replaced again – YET — but it’s 24 hr of walking on egg shells — when will #4 happen ????

  5. Kelly Reply

    I had the Stryker Trident Acetabular cup ceramic on ceramic done in February of 2007 on my left hip. I had hip dysplasia. I had healed and everything was great until about 3 1/2 yrs into the replacement. I started having abit of pain and couldnt do much lifting i knew something was wrong. I went to my doctor and told him something was up. He ordered MRIS,CAT scans and Xrays. About 2 weeks later he phoned and told me they didnt find anything. The pain was getting worse and worse and at this point i couldnt even work but i did . Eventually had a the worse thing happen. In April of 2012 iI moved and went to see a doctor and told him about theis pain i was having and found out that the metal stem has snapped in half. I went to Vancouver and the surgeron there there told me he has never seen this ever. Iam now waiting for a new full hip replacement again for the second time.

  6. Richard Reply

    Had my hip replaced in 2007 in Montreal. I had a DePuy ASR installed and it has been very painful and affected my gait. I tried to muscle through.
    Within two years of the surgery had one session of bloodwork performed in MTL on J & J expense. I recently have had debilitating issues with the left hip and have had a series of tests (MRI, Bone Scan, Tests) and will find out more on December 21st in Calgary in review with my orthopedic surgeon.
    Richard Doucette Please contact me.

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