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Wisconsin Court Dismisses Hip Implant Suit Against Zimmer

Defective Medical Devices

On August 8, 2014, a Wisconsin federal court dismissed a case based on a defective hip implant because it found that it did not have jurisdiction over a case which did not state a basis for federal jurisdiction.

Federal Courthouse in Milwaukee

Federal Courthouse in Milwaukee

Plaintiff, Yvonne Wright, brought claims against Zimmer Holdings Inc. asserting that she was implanted with a defective metal on metal hip implant manufactured by the defendant.

According to the allegations in the lawsuit, “these multiple surgeries cause Plaintiff Yvonne Wright to suffer significant injuries, including great pain and agony that restricted her ability to engage in the physical activities she enjoys, and has affected her ability to perform basic household chores.”

In its opinion, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin held that the complaint had not recited a basis for federal jurisdiction. The court noted: “According to the allegations in the complaint, the parties aren’t diverse. The Plaintiff is from Wisconsin, so are two of the defendants.”

The Court further rejected jurisdiction on grounds that there was no private cause of action under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The court concluded, “Although ‘FDCA’ standards may be embedded in this claim, that does not constitute a substantial federal issue sufficient to confer jurisdiction, especially where the FDCA confers no private cause of action.”

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