Zimmer Durom Cup Recall Lawsuit Costs To Exceed $600M: Report

Zimmer Holdings has indicated that the total costs associated with product liability lawsuits filed over problems with their Durom Acetabular cup, which was temporarily recalled in 2008, may exceed $600 million. 

In a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the medical device manufacturer indicated that the company has already paid $388.2 million for claims associated with the recalled component and estimates that the remaining liability to settle Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuits will likely cost the company about $229.7 million.

The Zimmer Durom Cup hip implant was first introduced in the United States in 2006, with a design that was supposed to avoid many problems associated with traditional hip replacement components, such as instability, limited range of motion and wear of the bearing.  However, shortly after it was introduced, concerns emerged about a high number of hip replacement failures involving the Zimmer Durom Cup, where the component loosened and required revision surgery.

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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.

Approximately 12,000 individuals had the Zimmer Durom Cup hip system implanted between 2006 and 2008.  While Zimmer’s own estimates in 2008 suggested that some doctors experienced failure rates as high as 5.7%, some claims have suggested that the between 20% and 30% of people may experience problems.

All of the remaining Zimmer Durom Cup recall lawsuits filed in the federal court system are current consolidated as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, which is centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

A number of the claims have been settled, but the remaining Zimmer Durom Cup lawsuits are consolidated and centralized as part of an MDL in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

One case brought in Pennsylvania state court by Margo and Daniel Polett went to trial in November 2010, resulting in a jury verdict awarding $27.6 million in compensatory damages. The company indicates that it is currently trying to have that decision overturned by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

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