The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has announced that any pending and unsettled Zimmer hip lawsuits in Federal Courts would be transferred to a multi-district litigation (MDL) proceeding in New Jersey.  Since that announcement, no news of further developments has been released.

The Zimmer hip implants are used in hip replacement surgeries to give patients relief from hipbone diseases. Zimmer hip components are used for hip replacement in patients having damaged hipbone. They have been developed as per requirements for minimally invasive surgery. Zimmer MIS Solutions have been developed for implantation through a smaller cut to avoid damage to muscles and tendons around the hip.

Zimmer manufactures different products to meet the requirement of hip implants in different patients. They are as follows. Zimmer M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis, which comes with Kinectiv Technology. It helps in proper adjustment of the implant. Another product line is the Fitmore Hip Stem, which requires minimal invasion and leaves less scarring. Other hip products from Zimmer are the Continuum Acetabular system and Metasul Metal-on-Metal articulation. These products are claimed to be customizable and long lasting.

The subject of many recent lawsuits is an acetabular component called the Durom Cup.  The Durom Cup component was linked to many implant failure cases in 2008, and later the same year, the Cup was temporarily recalled from the market by Zimmer Holdings, its manufacturer.  This component has caused many patients to suffer from acute pain, loss of endurance, and hindrance in leading a normal life. After these problems surface, many patients have to get their implants replaced through revision surgery.

The temporary recall of the Zimmer hip implant components resulted in many product-liability lawsuits being filed against Zimmer.  Zimmer Inc. is one of the largest orthopedic device manufacturers in the world. Many of the Zimmer hip lawsuits were consolidated into multi-district litigation (MDL) in New Jersey. This move was taken to ensure efficiency in the prosecution and settlement of claims.  An MDL proceeding groups  similar cases to allow the common issues to be decided only once, avoiding inconsistent legal rulings and allowing the cases to proceed to trial in less time. In June 2010, 45 federal cases were consolidated after a judicial panel opined that all federal Zimmer lawsuits have common platform of allegations. The facts, which were similar in all the cases, include allegations of the Durom Cup hip replacement being defectively designed or manufactured. All the lawsuits also blamed Zimmer of not providing sufficient warnings to the patients regarding risk factors associated with Zimmer hip implant components.  The federal Zimmer multi-district litigation is presided over by the Judge Susan D. Wigenton.

Zimmer has settled many Durom Cup cases through mediation, and it also set aside a fund of $150 million for future settlements. Zimmer may have to enlarge its settlement fund as the number of cases against it is increasing day by day.

Zimmer hip lawsuit status conference

A status conference for the multi-district litigation in Zimmer hip lawsuits was held on June 29, 2011. It was presided over by the Judge Madeline Cox Arleo.  Attorneys on both sides of the litigation addressed pre-trial issues — such as witness testimony and discovery — in this conference. The first Durom Cup lawsuit is slated for trial early next year. The settlements in Zimmer hip lawsuits are expected to total several millions of dollars. As number of Zimmer hip lawsuits is increasing day-by-day, Zimmer is expected to suffer a huge financial blow in the settlement.