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Zimmer Inc. Sees Profit Boost Despite Defective Hip Replacements

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New York, NYZimmer Inc.'s second-quarter earnings increased 23 percent as the manufacturer of orthopaedic devices said it received a boost from international sales, despite ongoing litigation over its defective hip replacements.

According to Dow Jones Newswires, the company's adjusted profit and revenue were higher than the expectations of most analysts. In addition to strong sales growth overseas, Zimmer also reportedly benefited from the introduction of new products, the news source said.

Reuters reports that the company also decided to revise its outlook for the rest of the year based on the positive numbers, projecting a total sales increase of between 2.5 and 3.5 percent.

Total revenue for the orthopaedic product manufacturer increased by 7.5 percent, according to the news provider.

While profit may be up for Zimmer Holdings Inc., the product manufacturer is still in the spotlight over its faulty Durom hip replacement device, which has been the subject of a number of lawsuits in recent years.

Specifically, defective hip replacements such as Zimmer's Durom metal-on-metal device and other products from the DePuy unit of Johnson & Johnson have been linked to side effects such as metal contamination in the blood of patients and difficulty walking after the surgery has been completed.

In one recent lawsuit, a Louisiana resident claimed he needed to undergo a second operation in order to replace the faulty device, which was allegedly depositing metal particles in his blood and deteriorating, causing him discomfort.

The Louisiana Record reports that Francoie Stephens claimed to have undergone hip replacement surgery in 2007, having the Durom product implanted. He claimed he was unaware of potential side effects of the device until he watched a commercial on television alerting him to such issues.

However, Stephens later allegedly learned the side effects of the product first-hand, and needed to undergo another operation in 2011 to have the device replaced.

In addition to not properly warning Stephens of the potential defects associated with the hip replacement device, Zimmer is accused of acting negligently when it manufactured, distributed and marketed the device, according to the lawsuit, which was filed last month in federal court in New Orleans.

As a result, Stephens is seeking damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and medical expenses, according to the lawsuit.


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