A California jury awarded $9.2 million last month to a man who was forced to undergo two hip-replacement surgeries in 15 months after receiving a Zimmer Inc. implant. The jury found for the first time that the company was negligent in designing its metal-on-metal Durom Cup. On July 24, following a three-week trial, the jury in California superior court unanimously found in favor of Gary Kline, who had his first hip surgery in 2007 when he was 51 years old and now suffers from chronic pain as a result of Zimmer’s defective implant.
The jury ordered Zimmer to pay Kline more than $150,000 to cover past medical bills, $2.4 million for past noneconomic damages, including physical pain and mental suffering, and $6.6 million in future noneconomic damages. Kline’s orthopedic surgeon told him that his hip would be 98 percent functional with a Durom Cup because the implant was durable and its large head allows for a greater range of motion than alternative implants.
Kline was left with immobilizing pain from the first operation, and scar tissue and muscle damage from his second surgery have permanently limited his mobility. Kline alleged that Zimmer altered the product’s plasma coating without properly testing it, choosing instead to rush the implant to market. The Durom Cup is designed to allow patients’ bodies to grow into the implant, but the altered coating allegedly resists bone growth. The bulk of Durom Cup claims against Zimmer have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court, where related cases and potential tag-alongs continue to stream in and where Waters Kraus serves as liaison counsel. For more information contact Navan Ward or Melissa Prickett, lawyers in our Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Navan.Ward@beasleyallen.com or Melissa.Prickett@beasleyallen.com.
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