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UK High Court sets the stage for large number of failed metal-on-metal hip claims against Zimmer

The High Court has granted a Group Litigation Order (GLO) to manage a large number of claims against Zimmer concerning failures of one of their metal-on-metal hip systems.

Posted on 16 December 2014

It is believed that almost 2000 patients have been implanted with the Zimmer Durom resurfacing system in the UK since 2003. However, many more patients may have been implanted with a total hip replacement system that also incorporates the Zimmer Durom cup. The GLO applies to both types of system.

The UK National Joint Registry has identified that the Zimmer Durom resurfacing system has a failure rate of 9.41% at 10 years in comparison with the gold standard conventional components, which have a failure rate of approximately 2.5 % over the same period. The failure rate of the total hip replacement system incorporating the Zimmer Durom cup is currently unknown.

The claims allege that the design of the systems is defective in that they have a propensity cause an Adverse Reaction to Metal Debris (ARMD) and fail prematurely. It is also alleged that the design of the Zimmer Durom cup is defective as it fails to integrate correctly with patients’ bones, resulting in loosening and early failure.

A GLO is similar to a class action suit in the US and is normally made where the Court is faced with claims by multiple Claimants whose cases give rise to ‘common or related issues of fact or law’. 

In effect, the GLO allows for the claims to be heard together rather than on an individual basis, making the litigation far more efficient. The Zimmer Durom Metal on Metal Hip Litigation GLO will:

  • Establish a group of Claimants who have suffered personal injury, loss and damage as a result of their implantation with the Zimmer Durom hip system;
  • Ensure the maintenance and publication of a group register of Claimants;
  • Establish a formal steering committee;
  • Make provision for the sharing and consequential limitation of costs both to the Claimants and the Defendant.

The GLO itself and an invitation to prospective Claimants to consider joining the Zimmer Metal on Metal Hip Litigation will be advertised in due course on this website, in the Law Society Gazette, on social media including Facebook, and in a national newspaper. 

Leigh Day are currently acting on behalf of 30 Claimants who were implanted with Zimmer Durom hip systems that failed, necessitating early revision surgery. 

Solicitors representing Zimmer Claimants are invited to contact Gene Matthews or Benjamin Croft for further information. 

What you need to do

If you are currently a Claimant with Leigh Day: We will be contacting you with further details on the GLO. 

If you are a Claimant with another law firm: Please speak to your law firm and make sure they are aware of the potential GLO. 

If you believe you have a faulty hip component and have not yet begun a claim: Please email nlowe@leighday.co.uk or call Naomi on 020 7650 1200.