Zimmer Biomet wants woman's hip replacement product liability suit moved to federal court

By Charmaine Little | Jun 21, 2018

A company named in a product liability suit for an allegedly faulty hip replacement system recently requested the case be removed from the Alameda County Superior Court to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Defendants Zimmer Biomet Inc. et. al. said in its June 14 notice of removal that the case against it is a diversity action, which the district court has jurisdiction over. They also stated the only defendant in California, Zimmer Biomet Fegan Inc., should not be involved in the case as it did not exist at the time in question in the complaint. “Therefore, it is a factual impossibility that Zimmer Biomet Fegan, Inc. could have distributed the allegedly defective device at issue,” the defendants stated in the notice.

In determining diversity, the defendants pointed out Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. is incorporated in Delaware and does its principal business in Warsaw, Indiana. It also stated the properly joined defendants weren’t citizens of California.

They also stated the amount in question exceeds the $75,000 allotted in the Superior Court.

The defendants’ notice of removal comes shortly after the plaintiff, Jennifer Roberts, sued them after complications following a hip replacement. Roberts filed the complaint after she suffered injuries after a Zimmer M/L Taper total hip replacement was installed in her body. She claimed the device was faulty which caused her injuries and having to get even more operations. She said the defendants were responsible because of their failure to warn and the product's unreasonably dangerous design, according to the notice. She also sued for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express warranty and breach of implied warranty.

The defendant stated the removal is proper because the district court has jurisdiction and it filed the notice in a timely manner (within 30 days of receiving the complaint).

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