PR Newswire reported October 28th that the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit has been proposed and identified as Eric Mets, a resident of Toronto who received his Zimmer hip replacement in October 2008. The replacement left him with what has been described as excruciating pain that hindered his capacity for basic daily tasks.
Less than two years following his original hip-replacement surgery, Mets underwent a second surgery in August of this year.
It should be noted that Mets received his new Zimmer hip several months after the marketing of Zimmer defective hip replacements was suspended in the US following complaints of failure long before the standard 15-year lifespan.
However, sales continued in Canada—a fact that legal counsel for Mets and the class-action lawsuit questions. According to Joel P. Rochon, of the Toronto law firm Rochon Genova LLP, "the disturbing aspect of this claim is that despite strong warnings from a leading American orthopedic surgeon in April 2008, and suspension of sales in the United States in July 2008, Zimmer continued to market the Durom Cup to surgeons and patients in Canada."
While Zimmer did issue a safety notice in Canada on November 15th of last year, sales continued in Canada in spite of suspended sales in the US. The statement of claim associated with the class-action lawsuit estimates the failure rate for the Zimmer defective hip replacements at about 24 percent in both the US and Canada.
The Zimmer Durom Cup was first licensed by Health Canada, the Canadian drug and medical device regulator, in 2005.
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However, the Zimmer Durom Cup hip replacement soon proved to be problematic for many after the devices failed to adhere to bone as originally intended. The eventual loosening and separation from the hip socket can cause excruciating pain and potential damage to the pelvic bone.
The national class action is against Zimmer Inc., Zimmer Holdings Inc., Zimmer GMBH and Zimmer of Canada Ltd. The Zimmer group of companies is one of the largest producers of orthopedic devices in the world. The company recently announced strong third-quarter earnings.