The so-called “bellwether” trial was the first out of more than 350 similar cases pending against Zimmer Holdings, Inc. After a three-week trial, a jury in Illinois decided that Zimmer was not liable for failing to warn about the implant’s risks.
The plaintiff, John Pugilese, 61, had the Durom Cup implanted in 2008 but removed a few months later. He claimed that the device’s metal-on-metal design was defective and contributed to his injuries.
However, lawyers for Zimmer blamed the failure on an infection Pugilese developed soon after it was implanted.
Lawsuits generally allege that the implant is defective because it can loosen and cause metal poisoning (metallosis), tissue inflammation, chronic pain, and other complications that require revision surgery.
The next “bellwether” trial is scheduled to begin in January 2015 in Los Angeles Superior Court. The plaintiff, Gary Kline, 58, was implanted with the Zimmer Durom in 2007 and had it removed in 2008. Zimmer temporarily withdrew the Durom Cup from the market in 2008.
Most of the Zimmer Durom lawsuits have been centralized in New Jersey federal court as part of a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) before U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton. Approximately 12,000 people were implanted with the device ben 2006 and 2008, with some surgeons estimating the failure-rate at 20-30%.
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