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Panel to Consider Consolidating Zimmer NexGen Knee Lawsuits into MDL

July 20, 2011 – In response to the dozens of Zimmer NexGen knee replacement lawsuits filed in at least 13 different federal court districts throughout the United States, a motion has been filed to consolidate all such cases into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). A panel of federal judges is set to meet next week to consider the proposed action, which aims to centralize Zimmer NexGen Knee litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. All of the claims involve allegations that plaintiffs experienced serious problems as a result of inherent design flaws with Zimmer NexGen knee components.

Knee Implant Update 7/25/12: A new study has identified a disturbing trend of heart attacks among patients who undergo hip or knee replacement procedures, particularly in the days and weeks immediately following surgery. The heart attack risk was found to be some 30 times higher during the first two weeks after the operation, raising questions about what – if anything – doctors may be able to do to reduce the danger of hip and knee hip implant surgeries. Click here to learn more.

Zimmer Knee Replacement Lawsuit Update 7/13/12: Nearly a year after a panel of judges consolidated all federal Zimmer knee replacement lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation (MDL), lawyers involved with the cases are scheduled to meet with the MDL court today to discuss the upcoming proceedings. When the Zimmer litigation was originally consolidated in August 2011, the MDL panel transferred 18 cases from different federal districts throughout the country to the Northern District of Illinois for coordinated management during pretrial proceedings. Since then, more than 440 additional lawsuits filed in other U.S. District Courts have been transferred into the Zimmer NexGen MDL, with nearly 100 of the complaints coming in the last month alone. Click here to learn more.

Free Zimmer NexGen Knee Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective Zimmer NexGen knee replacement device, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

What’s the problem?

After a request was filed last month to consolidate the growing number of claims against Zimmer, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation scheduled oral arguments concerning the matter to begin on July 28. Nationwide, there have been at least 28 lawsuits filed in 13 federal district courts over Zimmer NexGen knee replacement devices. However, many believe this is just the beginning and that hundreds of complaints are likely to be filed in the near future over the controversial knee replacement devices.

All of the claims involve individuals who have experienced catastrophic implant failures, often resulting in the need to undergo painful additional surgeries to remove or replace the components because they reportedly failed years before their advertised lifespan. According to the complaints, Zimmer downplayed the risks and underestimated the potential problems involved with their NexGen Knee systems.

For its part, Zimmer has stated that it opposes any consolidation of the cases. The company argues that centralizing the claims would be inefficient to the litigation process, since there are at least eight different knee products involved in the various lawsuits, each of which would have to go through its own discovery process. Additionally, Zimmer claims that a consolidated discovery would be made exceedingly difficult due to a legal requirement to protect the company’s trade secrets. The majority of the complaints involve the Zimmer NexGen high-flex knee plants, Zimmer NexGen MIS Tibial components, and Zimmer NexGen LPS gender solutions.

Plaintiffs have responded to Zimmer’s statements to the MDL panel, suggesting that the company is attempting to mislead the court for their benefit. Legal counsel for the plaintiffs have indicated that Zimmer’s arguments contradict their original claim that its knee replacement devices were all fundamentally equivalent, thereby avoiding any extensive review through the FDA’s controversial 510(k) approval process.

In theory, consolidating lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation reduces duplicate discovery, avoids contradictory rulings from different judges, and serves the convenience for all parties involved in the litigation process. While the pretrial process of an MDL is similar to that of a class action lawsuit, each claim still remains an individual lawsuit.

Zimmer NexGen Knee Recall

In June 2008, Zimmer issued a recall on its NexGen Complete Knee Solution MIS Total Knee System. The recall was initiated after findings that the device could potentially break during surgery and could leave fragments of metal in the patient’s knee. The data indicated that nearly 10 percent of Zimmer NexGen knee recipients examined after two years required revision surgery, and approximately 36 percent showed signs of loosening of the artificial knee. These failure rates are far higher than expected and are believed to be due to inherent design defects in the device. Individuals with defective Zimmer Knee Implants have reportedly experienced:

  • unexplained pain or discomfort after knee replacement
  • loosening of replacement knee
  • loose feeling in the replacement joint
  • difficulty walking
  • knee pain

The fundamental problem with the Zimmer NexGen Knee System seems to be the “high-flex” porous femoral component that attaches to the bottom of the thigh bone. In conventional knee replacement devices, surgical cement is used to hold the component in place. Zimmer NexGen Knee Systems do not use an adhesive material to keep them in place, and many believe this design flaw may lead to a loosening of the component that requires revision surgery. Click here to read more about Zimmer knee and hip lawsuits from Schmidt & Clark, LLP.

Do I have a Zimmer NexGen Knee Lawsuit?

The Product Liability and Defective Medical Device Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Zimmer NexGen Knee lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury cases in all 50 states.

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