Metro Verdicts Monthly’s cover graph is hip replacement settlements and verdicts in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.
The graph just says “hip replacements” so there is really no context. I will assume that these are primarily injury cases and not product liability claims because those claims – most notably against DePuy, Stryker, and Zimmer – do not make up a substantial part of the verdicts and settlements involving hip replacements since 1987.
With that introduction, the median verdict/settlement in hip replacement cases:
Washington, D.C.: $175,000
I slavishly report this verdict data to you when I see it but this is probably more worthless than the verdict and settlement statistics I usually give you- which are interesting but also ultimately worthless.
Sample Verdicts and Settlements Involving Hip Injuries
- 2020, New York: $6,225,000 Verdict. A doctor performed hip replacement surgery on a woman to treat her chronic pain. The woman claimed to suffer severe residual pain caused by neurological shock because of the procedure. She further claimed that her pain also restricts her ability to perform many physical activities. The woman underwent physical therapy treatment and claimed that she would need to continue this treatment for life. She sued her surgeon, alleging that the hip replacement was unnecessary and his failure to offer non-surgical treatment. The jury awarded her $6,225,000.
- 2019, Mississippi: $2,107,351 Verdict. A man underwent hip replacement surgery to treat his chronic hip pain caused by degenerative conditions and a hip fracture from over 40 years ago. During the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon placed a screw that injured his left iliac artery, causing significant bleeding. The screw was reportedly too long. The surgeon stopped the procedure shortly after this happened. He consulted a vascular surgeon who recommended that he continue with the surgery. After the surgery, the man’s condition worsened. He eventually underwent reconstructive surgery to his vein, comprising of a grafting procedure. The surgery was unsuccessful because the man suffered further complications. He suffered significant blood loss, infections, and kidney failure. The man underwent multiple blood transfusions. He sued the surgeon for using the wrong-sized screw, alleging that it caused his complications. He also sued the vascular surgeon for failing to immediately repair the damaged artery. The jury awarded the man $2,107,351, which the court reduced to $1,210,013 based on comparative negligence.
- 2019, California: $7,680,000 Verdict. This is a products liability case. A 63-year-old man suffered chronic hip pain caused by his Durom Cup hip implant, which caused muscle and nerve damage. He claimed that his pain would last the rest of his life. The man sued Zimmer, the Durom Cup’s manufacturer, alleging that the product was defectively designed. He also alleged that Zimmer failed to properly train surgeons on how to implant it. This was the first case involving the Durom Cup to go to trial. The jury determined that his damages totaled over $9,000,000. However, the trial court overturned the verdict and granted a new trial. The man appealed the decision. The appellate court overturned the trial court’s decision and found Zimmer liable. They ordered a new trial based on damages. The second trial’s jury awarded the man $7,680,000.
- 2019, California: $1,390,000 Verdict. An 83-year-old woman underwent hip replacement surgery. Six days after the procedure, she was admitted to the hospital, suffering from a urinary tract infection and dehydration. She was discovered to have suffered an infection at the surgical site and a separated incision. Doctors surgically removed necrotic tissue. She was then sent to a rehabilitation facility. The woman died about a month later from cardiopulmonary arrest and infection. Her estate sued the hospital for failing to provide wound care following the surgery. They also alleged that she was not given antibiotics before being sent to the rehabilitation facility. The jury awarded the estate approximately $1,390,000.
- 2018, Maryland, Prince George’s: $295,000 Verdict. The one Maryland case we found. A Hyattsville man underwent two total hip replacement surgeries within 18 days. In the first surgery, his hip prosthetic became misaligned. A Prince George’s County jury awarded him $295,000.
- 2018, Virginia: $4,000,000 Verdict. A 46-year-old man underwent a total hip replacement. The surgery took longer than average and involved four times as much blood loss. He suffered motor loss to his left quadriceps and sensory loss to his femoral nerve distribution. The surgeon repeatedly informed the man that he only suffered a stretch injury that would improve over time. However, the man did not show motor or sensory loss improvement. An EMG test revealed a severe femoral nerve injury and a lack of quadriceps muscle movement. He visited another physician, who determined that his injuries were untreatable and permanent. They also told him that could no longer walk on without an aide. The jury awarded the man $4,000,000.
- 2017, Texas: $43,700,000 Verdict. A woman underwent a total hip arthroplasty and received a Pinnacle Device implanted to replace her right hip. She suffered significant inflammation, pain, and discomfort around where the device was implanted. The woman underwent additional surgery to have it removed. She sued Pinnacle’s manufacturer, DePuy Orthopaedics, and DePuy’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson. The woman alleged that there were over a thousand reports of complications caused by it. She further alleged that DePuy and Johnson & Johnson knew of the product’s toxicity and high failure rate. The federal jury awarded the woman $43,700,000.
- 2017, Illinois: $600,000 Settlement. A woman in her 60s underwent revision surgery to repair her left hip placement, which was performed two days before. She fractured her prosthetic femur while getting up from her bed the day after the first surgery. After the second surgery, she experienced a diminished pulse in her left foot leaving a cold feeling. She underwent a CT angiogram in which doctors determined its results to show that her diminished pulse to be a chronic condition. Several months later, she was discovered to have suffered permanent leg dysfunction caused by the cerclage wire used during the revision surgery. She claimed that now experienced sleeping difficulties and chronic pain. The woman sued the surgeon and the hospital for improperly performing her revision surgery. She first settled with the hospital for $200,000. The woman then settled with the surgeon for $400,000. The settlement totaled $600,000.