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Zimmer Biomet Ordered to Pay More Than $2 Million Over Defective Hip Implant

A New Mexico man recently received a $2 million plus verdict after the judge ruled that the insufficient testing and defective design of a hip implant manufactured by Zimmer Biomet Inc. likely caused permanent harm.

The implant in question, the M/L Taper Hip Prosthesis with a cobalt-chromium head and Kinectiv Technology reportedly caused a buildup of cobalt debris, which damaged the hip joint and contaminated the patient’s blood. This device was previously recalled in 2015 after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that this implant can cause patients to suffer a number of serious health complications, including death.

“It is never appropriate to design a hip implant system that would create an unreasonable risk of injury to the health or safety of a patient,” Judge Nan G. Nash wrote in her 27-page decision, ruling for the patient on grounds of strict products liability.

According to court documents, the patient received the hip implant in June of 2010. After appearing to recover from the surgery, he began suffering from loss of flexibility groin and hip pain in May of 2011. That fall, he underwent two corrective surgeries, during which his doctor replaced the cobalt-chromium head with a ceramic one and implanted two new prosthesis.

The patient needs to take antibiotics for the rest of his life, and is at risk of suffering from a recurrent infection. In addition to these potentially life-threatening complications, he also needed to give up playing tennis and golf. The judge noted that he may also need to undergo a third revision surgery in the future, one that is more complicated than his previous two.

The judge called attention to Zimmer Biomet’s testing procedure – rather than testing the components together to determine potential complications that could arise from their interactions, the components were tested in isolation. She noted that the use of dissimilar metals can lead to a higher chance for corrosion, a complication that can result in toxic debris and cause harm to the person implanted with the device. Zimmer Biomet was ordered to pay $1 million for past and future pain and suffering, $547,000 for out-of-pocket expenses, lost household services, and past and future medical expenses, and $480,000 for lost enjoyment of life.

If you suffered a serious injury because of a defective hip implant manufactured by Zimmer Biomet Inc., our Fort Lauderdale product liability lawyers can help. With more than 70 years of experience representing clients throughout Florida, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands when you work with is. Through our efforts we have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, and we will work with you to create a legal plan that will help you secure the compensation you deserve. Call us at (954) 467-8800 today to discuss your legal options over the phone, or schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our firm by filling out our online form.