Canadian Class Action Commenced Against Zimmer for Failure of Durom Cup Hip Implant

TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - On October 27, 2010, the Toronto law firm of Rochon Genova LLP issued a national class action on behalf of persons in Canada, excluding residence of British Columbia, who were implanted with the Zimmer Acetabular Durom Component ("Durom Cup"). The national class action is against Zimmer Inc., Zimmer Holdings, Inc. Zimmer GMBH and Zimmer of Canada Limited. The Zimmer group of companies is one of the largest producers of orthopedic devices in the world.

The Durom Cup was first licensed by Health Canada in 2005. The Durom Cup is an artificial joint socket used in total hip replacement surgery. It is part of a metal-on-metal hip implant system that was widely marketed to physicians and patients as providing greater range of motion and greater durability than traditional hip replacement prosthetic implant components. The Durom Cup was designed to bond to the patient's hip bone, thus keeping the cup in place.

In July 2008, Zimmer, Inc., and its related companies issued a "temporary suspension" of sales of the Durom Cup in the United States due to a high failure rate of the device. The Statement of Claim estimates that the failure rate to date of Durom Cups implanted in the United States and Canada is approximately 24%. Despite the suspension of sales in the United States, the product continued to be marketed and sold in Canada. It was not until November 15, 2009 that Zimmer issued a safety notice in Canada. Despite the suspension of sales in the United States, sales continued in Canada.

It is alleged that the Durom Cup is defective and fails to adhere to the bone as intended. Rather than bonding to the bone, the device loosens and separates from the hip socket causing the patient excruciating pain and potentially damaging the pelvic bone. When the product fails, patients are required to undergo revision surgery to replace the defective component.

According to the Statement of Claim, Zimmer began receiving complaints from physicians that the Durom Cup was failing as early as 2007. Joel P. Rochon, a partner at Rochon Genova LLP said: "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."

Eric Mets, a resident of Toronto, Ontario is the proposed representative plaintiff. Mr. Mets was implanted with the Durom Cup in October 2008 several months after sales of the device had been suspended in the United States. Following his 2008 hip replacement, Mr. Mets suffered excruciating pain that hindered his ability to perform basic daily tasks. In August 2010, as a result of the defective Durom Cup, he was required to undergo a further hip replacement surgery.