Plaintiff Awarded $9.2 Million for Damages in Zimmer Hip Failure Lawsuit
The plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit against Zimmer for manufacturing faulty hip replacement devices has won $9.2 million in damages.
The jury ruled in favor of Gary Kline, the 59-year-old plaintiff, who claimed that his Durom Cup hip replacement failed and caused him physical damage and suffering. Kline had to undergo two revision surgeries due to the device’s failure, so the jury ruled that Zimmer failed to warn surgeons and patients about potential safety issues or device failures before marketing the product for use.
Kline was not awarded punitive damages, but he did receive $153,000 in medical costs, $6.4 million in future noneconomic damages and $2.6 million for past noneconomic damages.
“[Kline] is still dealing with the lingering effects of having two traumatic surgeries in the span of 15 months and scar tissue and muscle damage that goes along with that,” his attorneys said in a statement.
There are several hundred similar complaints awaiting trial in federal court. We are investigating and evaluating defective product cases on behalf of individuals who received a metal on metal hip implant and suffered problems. At least 12,000 people have received Zimmer manufactured Durom cup hip replacement devices between 2006 and 2008. After the device was discovered to be faulty, the Food and Drug Administration issued a Class II recall. However, Zimmer never issued its own complimentary device recall. The FDA’s recall covered 19,000 devices.
“It’s a bad design,” Dorr told the New York Times in 2008. “I saw one of Zimmer’s engineers at a meeting, and I told her that you should pull this cup because you are crippling patients.”
In 2007, Kline underwent hip surgery to have the Durom cup device installed in his hip socket. At the time, his orthopedic surgeon told him that he could expect to see a 98% recovery of his hip function with the help of the device, and that the device would last for decades. Instead, however, Kline began to suffer stabbing pain in his hip shortly after the surgery, to the point that he was unable to move his leg. He underwent revision surgery twice, and the buildup of scar tissue from the surgeries damaged the muscle around his hip, limiting his mobility for the rest of his life.
Other plaintiffs have made similar complaints of early device failure. Zimmer initially marketed the devices as safe and long-lasting, but after only a few years on the market, that proved to be untrue. Many plaintiffs’ personal injury cases claim that the company knew about potential device failures and refused to warn surgeons or issue a proper recall, in spite of dangers. Their negligence has put thousands of patients at risk of long-term mobility issues, pain management, doctors’ visits, high medical bills, and loss of quality of life.
“What means the most to our trial team is that this verdict will help not just the Kline family, but so many other people as well,” Kline’s attorney said. “The Durom Cup was implanted in thousands of patients before Zimmer finally withdrew it from the market in 2010. In fact, this is just the first case to be tried of more than 25 lawsuits pending against Zimmer in Los Angeles Superior Court. Hopefully, this verdict will mean that those clients will get justice, too.”