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Zimmer Durom Acetabular Cup Lawsuit

Zimmer Holdings, the nation’s number one producer of artificial joint components, announced that it was suspending sales of the Durom acetabular cup, an artificial hip component, as of July 2008. The suspension is due to high implant failure rates resulting from the inability of the Durom cup to bond with the host bone. As a result, the implanted cup moves or “migrates” from the position it needs to be in to ensure satisfactory alignment and performance of the prosthetic hip.

At an April 2008 physicians conference, Dr. Lawrence Dorr, a renowned orthopedic surgeon located in Los Angeles, California, publicly warned other orthopedic surgeons about the implant’s high failure rates. At that time time, Zimmer declined to halt sales and continued selling the Durom components until its July 2008 decision to “temporarily suspend” sales in the United States.

Zimmer has refused to admit that there is a product defect with the Durom components and, instead, has argued that American physicians lack the required skill or finesse to be able to implant the Durom components: “Like all metal-on-metal monoblock acetabular components, the technology and design parameters of the Durom cup demand a surgical technique with a higher degree of precision and specificity compared to more common and familiar hip arthroplasty surgical techniques practiced in the U.S.”

In a July 24, 2008, New York Times article regarding the Durom cup, Dr. Dorr rejected such an assertion and succinctly stated the problem as follows: “It is a bad design.”

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