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According to allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit, the Zimmer Kinectiv Hip System is defectively designed, causing a Minnesota woman to develop metallosis blood poisoning and the need for revision surgery a few years after receiving the hip replacement.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Judith and Samuel Harms in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on May 19, indicating that the the head-neck taper junction of the Zimmer Kinectiv hip is prone to fret and wear down, releasing metallic debris into the body.
Judith Harms had a Zimmer Kinectiv hip implanted in September 2008, during a left total hip replacement. As a result of problems with the metal-on-metal hip implant, Harms suffered complications associated with a form of metal blood poisoning, known as metallosis, which resulted in the need for a left hip revision surgery in October 2015.
“Diagnosis of the metallosis was delayed due to Plaintiff’s surgeon having been left uninformed of the potential for this risk and complication when using the Kinective Hip System,” the lawsuit states. “The October 2015 revision surgery revealed pericapsular necrotic tissue, thickened capsule and a brown metallic stained fluid in the area of the hip device. Black sludge was identified where the Zimmer metal head was disimpacted from the Zimmer neck.”
Harms’ lawsuit comes a little more than a year after Zimmer was ordered to pay $2 million to a man who also suffered metallosis due to similar problems with a Zimmer Kinectiv hip.
In recent years, a number of hip replacement recalls and problems have been associated with metal-on-metal designs. In addition, some concerns have been raised about the development of tumors and a potential risk of cancer that may be associated with the design.
Similar allegations were raised in nearly 12,000 DePuy ASR hip lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson, after their metal-on-metal implant was recalled in August 2010. Following several bellwether trials, the manufacturer ultimately agreed to pay more than $2.4 billion to settle the DePuy ASR litigation.
More recently, a growing number of claims have followed a Stryker LFit V40 recall issued due to a high rate of problems experienced by individuals who received the femoral head used in various different types of hip systems, including Stryker Accolade, Stryker Meridian, Stryker Citation and other implants.