Zimmer Knee Lawsuit
Following several device recalls and widespread reports of complications, patients who suffered serious injuries related to their NexGen knee replacement system have sought legal recourse against the device manufacturer. The world’s largest producer of prosthetic knee implants, Zimmer Manufacturing faces increasing litigation over complaints that its High Flex system is defective and subject to early knee failure, in many cases requiring painful and costly revision surgery. Individuals who have been harmed by these devices may qualify to file a Zimmer knee lawsuit.
Compensation may be available for individuals who have been implanted with certain components, including the following:
- Zimmer NexGen MIS
- Zimmer NexGen LPS
- Zimmer CR-Flex Porous
- Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex
- Other Zimmer knee components
Basis for filing a Zimmer knee lawsuit
At this time, attorneys are evaluating Zimmer knee replacement lawsuits on behalf of individuals who believe they received a defective or recalled NexGen device and developed complications. Patients who experience any of the following problems post surgery are advised to consult their surgeon and contact a products liability lawyer to determine their legal options regarding the filing of a Zimmer knee lawsuit.
Common complaints cited by patients who experienced NexGen knee complications are:
- Chronic or unexplained knee pain
- Loosening of the knee replacement
- Difficulty or pain when walking
- Inability to stand for long periods
- Swelling around the knee
- Popping or crunching sounds in the knee
- A loose feeling in the knee
- Need for revision surgery or additional knee replacement
Numerous plaintiffs allege that the manufacturer failed to adequately test their NexGen system prior to releasing it on the market. Owing to the allegedly defective design of certain components and the manufacturer’s failure to issue timely knee recalls, Zimmer has, according to lawsuit complaints, caused hundreds of patients to suffer needless and preventable complications. To date, more than 700 Zimmer knee replacement lawsuits have been lodged in courtrooms across the country, all with similar allegations regarding the NexGen components’ tendency to loosen and prematurely fail. Many of these plaintiffs have been forced to undergo painful knee revision surgery to replace the original device.
Why file Zimmer knee replacement lawsuits?
The majority of plaintiffs who file NexGen knee replacement claims against Zimmer contend that the defendant should have known that using the device created a high risk of dangerous side effects, which in many cases indicated surgical removal of the implant. Patients who received any of the High Flex components and sustained injuries frequently cite chronic pain, limited mobility and the need for ongoing therapy and medical care resulting from knee revision surgery.
Zimmer knee lawsuit claimants are requesting compensation for some or all of the following:
- Costs for rehabilitation or in-home nursing care
- Compensation for lost income
- Damages for past and future medical expenses
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Damages for diminished earning capacity
- Damages for permanent disability
Does research support Zimmer NexGen failure claims?
It is estimated that some 200,000 Zimmer NexGen knee components may have been used in the United States. In 2010, a non-peer reviewed report by prominent knee surgeon Dr. Richard Berger and a colleague revealed that certain components of the Zimmer implants experienced higher than average Zimmer NexGen knee failure rates.
While most prosthetic knees are designed to last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, Dr. Berger stated that 8.3 percent of 108 patients studied using the NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral components needed revision surgery within two years, and 36% of those cases showed early signs of radiographic loosening.
Zimmer knee recall?
A voluntary Zimmer knee recall targeting specific NexGen Complete Knee Solution MIS Tibial Components was issued in September of 2010. It was considered a Class 2 recall by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Another Zimmer knee recall targeting a small number of LPS Femoral Components followed later that same year. Among reasons listed for the recalls were defective or non-conforming designs and flaws in the manufacturing.
Zimmer has not issued a voluntary recall of its High Flex models. The manufacturer stands behind its products, claiming that that there is no evidence of defects in the implants, and that instances of early failure are due to poor implantation technique on the part of surgeons.
Zimmer knee lawsuit multidistrict litigation (MDL)
The billion-dollar company faces hundreds of knee replacement claims, many consolidated in Zimmer knee lawsuit multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2272), which is currently proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Plaintiffs who file NexGen knee cases with similar allegations in federal court may have their lawsuits transferred to the current MDL. Unlike a class action suit, cases that are centralized in federal multidistrict litigation retain their individual status. The purpose of this consolidated litigation is to streamline pretrial proceedings, thus avoiding duplicative discovery and inconsistent judicial rulings. In theory, MDL proceedings may also help encourage faster Zimmer knee lawsuit settlements.
The following Zimmer components are included in the Products Liability NexGen Implant MDL:
- NexGen Complete Knee Soluton CR-Flex Gender Solutions Female CR-Flex (GSF-Flex)
- All NexGen MIS Total Knee Procedure Stemmed Tibial Components
- NexGen Complete Knee Solution (LPS-Flex)
- NexGen Complete Knee Solution Cruciate Retaining-Flex Femoral Components (CR-Flex)
- NexGen Complete Knee Solution Gender Solutions Female LPS-Flex (GSF LPS-Flex)
Free Zimmer knee lawsuit case evaluations
Patients who have experienced pain or suffering following a Zimmer knee replacement are encouraged to contact a qualified attorney, who can provide more details on taking legal action. As most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, there is no cost for filing a claim unless damages are awarded or a settlement is negotiated. For those who experienced serious complications stemming from a failed or defective NexGen knee implant, or had to endure additional revision surgery, a Zimmer knee lawsuit against the device manufacturer may be the only way to secure both monetary compensation and justice.
- New York Times, (June 19, 2010) Surgeon vs. Knee Maker: Who's Rejecting Whom?, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/business/20knee.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA), (June 18, 2009) Medical Devices: 510(k) Clearances, http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Products
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, (August 29, 2012) MDL No. 2272, Case Management Plan, http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/home/_assets/_news/zimmernexgen