Zimmer estimates $388M in Durom hip implant legal costs

Zimmer Holdings announced recently that it expects to pay about $388 million in legal costs associated with its Durom metal-on-metal hip implant.

According to a report from MassDevice.com, the medical device firm said it has paid $98 million to settle injury claims related to the device it has already recalled once and still remains the basis for new legal action from recipients of the metal-on-metal implant. Zimmer said recently that it estimates to pay another $290 million to settle remaining costs.

Of course, that number could increase in the next few years if the company continues to face newer legal action so long as its Durom metal-on-metal hip implant is connected to widespread reports of complications from its recipients.

Zimmer has already recalled the Durom metal-on-metal hip implant once, in 2008, but that was just a temporary action and the company re-released the device and blamed the complications recorded to that date on the errors of the surgeons who implanted them. Since then however, the entire class of metal-on-metal hip implants has come under increased scrutiny, topped by the 2010 recall of the DePuy Orthopaedics ASR metal-on-metal hip implant.

Since that recall, thousands of recipients of metal-on-metal hip implants have come forward with complaints linked to complications caused by these hip implants. Anything from pain to a toxic accumulation of metals in the bloodstream have been reported from thousands of users of metal-on-metal hip implants. And the complaints cover more than just that one recalled product.

In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has ordered the makers of numerous models of metal-on-metal hip implants, including Zimmer, to product post-market safety data that shows their products are safe and should remain a viable option for people needing a total hip replacement. As it presumably is in that information-gathering phase, the compan

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