A B.C. man has applied to certify his class-action lawsuit against a U.S. manufacturer of hip replacement parts after suffering serious pain that he attributes to an allegedly faulty mechanism implanted his hip.
William Iley, 71, says he began feeling pain just two years after having both hips replaced in two separate operations in 1996 and 1997. While his surgeon told him not to worry, he says hesoon began to fall down and injure himself.
In his application for certification, Iley claims thousands of other patients who were given the same hip replacement are also suffering pain and bouts of falling. He says the problem is the result of faulty plastic liners inside the hip replacements. None of Iley's claims have been proven in court.
In 2005, he had surgery to rectify the situation.
"If in my first operation they hadn't have put cheap stuff in, I wouldn't have had revision surgery," Iley told the Vancouver Province.
Claim alleges negligent manufacturing
In a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Iley alleges the Indiana-based manufacturer, Zimmer Inc., negligently manufactured and packaged the liner, the newspaper reports.
The claim alleges that the system used to sterilize the liner weakened it and made it susceptible to breakage.
While Iley says Zimmer Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of the components, now uses a different sterilization method, it should have been using the method all along because the knowledge was available to the company since the 1950s.
A spokesman for Zimmer Inc. told the newspaper he didn't have enough information to comment.
Iley's certification application may not be considered until next year, and if it's approved, it could take two more years before the case goes to court.
In 2003, Quebec Superior Court approved a $20 million class-action settlement against a Texas-based manufacturer of hip replacement parts, Centerpulse Orthopedics.
The court had heard that patientsexperienced pain as a result of an oil residue that prevented the hip replacement from bonding to the bone. About 700 Canadians shared the settlement.