A US District Judge for the Pennsylvania Federal Court yesterday dismissed a plaintiff’s claims of injury related to a Zimmer Biomet (NYSE:ZBH) metal-on-metal prosthetic hip because it passed the statute of limitations.
Plaintiff Marilyn Adams was implanted with a Zimmer hip prosthesis in 2011, and claimed to suffer pain and complications for years after. She underwent a second surgery in 2015 to replace the prosthesis with a ceramic device.
Adams claims in the case that the metals used in the first prosthesis, alongside “an unreasonably dangerous design” resulted in significant health complications, including metallosis.
The plaintiff said that they first complained of issues related to the hip in 2012, experiencing serious pain and injuries that resulted in the replacement surgery in 2015. The suit was filed in 2017, two years after the plaintiff had the full hip replacement to move to a ceramic device.
Because of the period of time the plaintiff knew of issues with the hip, alongside the decision to undergo a second surgery, the case fell outside the two-year statute of limitations.
“In sum, the court grants Zimmer’s motion for summary judgment because, before February 10, 2015, Adams possessed, or should have possessed, the requisite knowledge that the Zimmer Device caused her injury, triggering the commencement of the two-year statute of limitations, and no reasonable juror could conclude otherwise on the undisputed facts of this record,” Judge Edward Smith wrote.
Judge Smith was reluctant in his granting of the motion, acknowledging that Adams suffered “serious injuries”, but said that the court “cannot arbitrarily enforce the statute of limitations.
“Thus, despite the unfortunate nature of this outcome, the court is constrained to grant the motion for summary judgement,” Judge Smith wrote.
In July, Zimmer Biomet saw shares rise after the medical device maker posted second quarter earnings that topped expectations on Wall Street.