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North Carolina Zimmer Knee Replacement Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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Collen Clark Published by Collen Clark

Zimmer Knee Replacement Lawsuit
If you or someone you know has experienced complications from Zimmer knee replacement, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is here to help. Recognized for our expertise in plaintiff representation, our primary goal is to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you’re entitled to.

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Quick Summary

  • Initiating a Lawsuit: The first step in taking legal action is to consult with an attorney who specializes in product liability or medical malpractice. Your attorney will help you understand the legal framework, gather necessary medical documentation, and file a lawsuit in a North Carolina court. They will guide you through the complexities of the legal process, ensuring that all filings meet state-specific guidelines and deadlines.
  • Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible for a lawsuit, you must prove that the Zimmer knee implant was defective and that this defect directly caused your injuries. This typically includes demonstrating that the implant failed prematurely, leading to pain, loss of mobility, or the need for revision surgery. Your medical records and expert testimonies will play a crucial role in substantiating your claim.
  • Potential Compensation: Compensation in such cases may cover a range of damages, including medical expenses for past and future treatments, lost wages if you’ve been unable to work, pain and suffering, and possibly punitive damages if egregious negligence is found. The amount of compensation will depend on the severity of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life.

How S&C Can Help With Your Claim?

S&C can help with your claim by offering expert guidance and support as you navigate the complex legal landscape of medical lawsuits in North Carolina. Specializing in Zimmer knee replacement lawsuits, our firm stands as a beacon of hope, helping you deal with the daunting experience of a faulty knee implant.

Here at S&C, we understand the intricacies of company-initiated cases and the immense physical and emotional toll they can take.

Our team is committed to:

  • Pursuing justice for every client
  • Striving to make the complex process of filing claims less overwhelming
  • Helping you turn the page towards a brighter future.

Zimmer Knee Lawsuit

Once acclaimed as revolutionary medical devices, Zimmer knee implants now face a series of recalls and lawsuits. The heart of the problem lies in early device failure and loosening, issues that have left patients grappling with pain, immobility, and a diminished quality of life.

Unfortunately, these troubles have also impacted North Carolina. The state has seen a rise in recalls, particularly of the Zimmer Persona. The recalls have been triggered by alarming reports of radiolucent lines and loosening in Zimmer knee implants.

What Is a Zimmer Knee Implant

According to the manufacturer, Zimmer knee implant is a medical device engineered to substitute damaged knee joints and implanted with the goal of reducing pain and enhancing mobility [1]. Among the various products offered by Zimmer Biomet, the Oxford Partial Knee stands out as the company’s globally recognized leader in knee replacement systems.

The Oxford Partial Knee was designed to offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Less painful movements
  • Quicker recovery times
  • Patients fitted with this implant often found themselves engaging in sports more readily than those with total knee replacements, enjoying activities such as swimming, cycling, hiking, golfing, and even walking.

However, despite its benefits, there was an underlying issue with the implant.

What Is Wrong With The Zimmer Knee Implants?

What is wrong with the Zimmer Biomet NexGen full knee replacement system is its association with a high rate of revisions, often failing within five years. Affected patients have experienced pain, swelling, instability, difficulty in movement, warmth, painful popping, and a decrease in their range of motion, all symptoms indicative of a failing full knee replacement system.

The issues do not stop there. The Zimmer NexGen Flex knee replacements have exhibited problems with device loosening, leading to gaps between the device and the bone or its components. These gaps can trigger severe complications like osteolysis and bone implant failure, prompting lawsuits against Zimmer.

Reasons Behind The Recall

A significant number of patients suffering from implant loosening, chronic knee pain, and early device failure led to the recall of the Zimmer Persona Knee implant. The recall came just three years after the implant hit the market, leaving many patients in a precarious situation.

One of the key issues leading to the voluntary recall, classified as a class ii recall, of the defective medical device was the presence of radiolucent lines on imaging tests. These gaps allow tissue debris and fluid to accumulate, causing severe discomfort and pain.

According to the FDA’s notice from 2020, the recall, categorized as a Class 2 by the FDA, indicated that the defect could result in temporary or medically reversible adverse health outcomes [2].

Main Side Effects Named In The Lawsuits

The side effects cited in the lawsuits against Zimmer Biomet include:

  • Loosening
  • Dislocation
  • Fracture
  • Wear
  • Infection

While infections are uncommon, they can be severe, often necessitating revision surgery by orthopedic surgeons to replace the failed knee prosthetics.

Knee replacement lawsuits claim the devices loosened, became unstable and required revision surgery to correct the problems. Depuy Attune, Zimmer NexGen and Arthrex iBalance are among the knee implants named in lawsuits – Dr. Aimee Hachigian-Gould, Orthopedic Surgeon and Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Medical Complications

Revision surgery for a faulty knee implant is a complex procedure that requires significant preoperative planning and specialized implants, tools, and advanced surgical skills.

According to the NHS publication from 2023, knee replacement surgery, in particular, is fraught with possible complications, including [3]:

  • Wound drainage
  • Infections
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve or vessel damage
  • Intra-operative fractures
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pulmonary embolism

Postoperative care after a revision knee surgery typically includes:

  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Managing blood levels
  • Administering pain relief
  • Preventing blood clots

This care, addressing knee pain, is similar to the care given after a first-time knee replacement.

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Physical therapy and rehabilitation play a crucial role in the recovery process for patients undergoing revision knee surgery. Starting physical therapy usually causes early failure, often within 24 hours following revision surgery, to facilitate recovery.

The rehabilitation program, which includes physical therapy, can extend for up to three months after surgery. This essential phase of recovery is often a challenging journey, requiring patients to balance managing pain, regaining strength, and adapting to their new knee implant.

How Do You Qualify for a Zimmer Knee Lawsuit?

To qualify for a Zimmer knee lawsuit, you must have endured specific complications following the implantation of a Zimmer Persona knee implant. Such complications include loosening of the implant, instability, persistent pain, infections, and the requirement for subsequent revision surgery.

Bear in mind that to qualify, individuals must have suffered injuries or complications specifically connected to the Zimmer Persona knee implant system. Understanding these criteria and providing the necessary evidence can be a complex process, which is why having experienced legal counsel is so critical.

Proving device failure is essential for a Zimmer knee lawsuit in North Carolina. Plaintiffs must show that the knee replacement device manufacturer, such as a loved one such as Zimmer, is responsible for the injuries sustained due to negligence.

The Status Of The Zimmer Knee Implant Litigation in North Carolina

In North Carolina, legal actions against Zimmer involve specific claims related to the NexGen CR and NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral knee implants, which allegedly became loose and unstable, necessitating revision surgeries.

Patients have claimed that Zimmer failed to adequately warn of the risks associated with their knee implants, leading to injuries and complications. Zimmer marketed its NexGen knee replacement devices to hospitals and doctors despite being aware of the challenges and potential for complications, resulting in many patients requiring revision surgery.

Multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been employed to consolidate Zimmer knee replacement lawsuits efficiently and address similar claims across various district court jurisdictions. The Zimmer NexGen Knee cases were amalgamated into an MDL in an Illinois federal district court, involving over 1,700 individual lawsuits at its zenith.

Zimmer Knee Lawsuit Average Settlement Amounts in North Carolina

Though the precise average settlement amount for Zimmer knee lawsuits in North Carolina isn’t publicly available, it’s worth mentioning that the multidistrict litigation (MDL) concerning Zimmer NexGen Knee cases was officially concluded in November 2022 after Zimmer reached a confidential settlement in February 2018. The compensation victims may receive from a Zimmer knee lawsuit can cover a range of damages.

Victims often seek damages for:

Lost wages can be claimed if work is missed, and reduced earning capacity can be compensated if the victim cannot return to their previous employment due to the defective implant. The average payout in knee implant recall cases is around $110,000, though the amount can vary widely depending on the specifics of each case.

Filing a Zimmer Knee Lawsuit in North Carolina

Filing a Zimmer knee lawsuit in North Carolina requires a thorough understanding of the legal process and adherence to the statute of limitations. Patients impacted by the Zimmer knee implant might be eligible for compensation due to injuries caused by the defective medical device itself.

Types of Evidence To Present

In knee replacement lawsuits, the informed consent documentation serves as a crucial piece of evidence that lawyers and insurers can scrutinize in a medico-legal malpractice suit. An evidence-based informed consent form for knee arthroplasty should include risks, complications, and alternatives to surgery, as well as details about the surgical procedure and expectations for recovery.

A well-drafted informed consent form for knee replacement could serve as a significant defense for surgeons in the event of legal action, upholding patient rights and ensuring transparency.

Standardized, procedure-specific consent forms that document the following can be vital in knee replacement lawsuits:

  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment options
  • Expected outcomes
  • Potential risks
  • Complications

What is the Statute of Limitations for the Zimmer Implant Lawsuit in North Carolina?

The statute of limitations for the Zimmer implant lawsuit in North Carolina is generally three years from the date the injury occurred or was discovered.

In certain circumstances, an extended period of six years may apply. The first statute of time to file a claim may be extended under North Carolina’s discovery rule if the injured party was unaware of the harm caused by the product, and tolling provisions can further extend the statute of limitations if the plaintiff was incapacitated.x

How Much Is The Zimmer Implant Lawsuit Worth in North Carolina?

The worth of a Zimmer implant lawsuit in North Carolina is influenced by various factors that are unique to each case, as well as the proficiency of the legal representation involved.

Here are some considerations that can affect the settlement value:

  • Local Legal Expertise: Engaging a local attorney can be beneficial due to their familiarity with North Carolina’s legal system, providing convenient access and support throughout the lawsuit.
  • Severity of Injury: The extent of harm and the complexity of corrective surgeries required significantly influence the claim’s value.
  • Life Impact: The degree to which the injury has affected the patient’s daily life and ability to work is a critical determinant of compensation.
  • Pain and Suffering: The physical discomfort and emotional distress the patient experiences are thoroughly assessed to ensure just recompense.

These elements are integral in calculating the total compensation.

Related Articles:

See all related medical device lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.

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Have you or a loved one suffered severe pain or injury from a defective medical device?

Get Your Free Consultation From North Carolina Zimmer Knee Implant Lawyers

Schmidt & Clark, LLP stand by your side in these trying times. If injuries from a Zimmer knee implant surgery have impacted you or someone close to you, we encourage you to get in touch.

Our legal experts have a wealth of experience with such cases and are prepared to guide you through each step of the legal process. We will illuminate your legal options and determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit concerning Zimmer knee implant complications.

We offer free consultations, and our fee structure is contingent on securing a favorable outcome for your case. Contact us for a comprehensive review of your situation regarding the Zimmer knee implant.

Reference:

  1. https://www.zimmerbiomet.com/en/products-and-solutions/specialties/knee.html
  2. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/postmarket-requirements-devices/recalls-corrections-and-removals-devices
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/knee-replacement/complications/

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