New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Centralized Zimmer NexGen Litigation
The New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to order centralized management for the growing NexGen Flex knee litigation in the state. Though there is a Zimmer NexGen lawsuit multidistrict litigation (MDL) at the federal level, there is not currently a state mass tort equivalent for Zimmer knee failure claims. Zimmer, Inc., which had opposed federal consolidation, moved for the creation of the New Jersey mass tort on December 15, 2011. In its motion, the company argued that centralization would allow for more efficient pre-trial proceedings.
The company further argued that all pending and future lawsuits should be consolidated in Middlesex County Superior Court because it is centrally located and the least congested venue in the state.
Ruling affects pending Zimmer NexGen lawsuit actions in New Jersey
Nearly a dozen plaintiffs, represented by a Zimmer knee lawyer team, objected to the company’s motion. They argued that the small number of cases filed in New Jersey had already been informally consolidated in Atlantic County, and that moving the cases to another court was unnecessary.
The cases already pending in Atlantic County are being overseen by Superior Court Judge Carol E. Higbee, who has issued joint pre-trial orders as though the cases had been formally consolidated.
Zimmer knee lawyer arguments prevail
On May 29, 2012, the New Jersey Supreme Court sided with the plaintiffs, rejecting Zimmer’s motion. The Court did not indicate the basis for its decision, but it did direct that all Zimmer NexGen lawsuit cases should continue to be filed in the appropriate counties of venue.
The Court’s ruling does not affect the ongoing Zimmer MDL (multidistrict litigation) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer is currently overseeing hundreds of Zimmer knee failure claims in that action.
Plaintiffs allege Zimmer knee complications
Through a Zimmer knee lawyer, plaintiffs in these MDL cases allege that they suffered serious injuries after being implanted with a Zimmer NexGen artificial knee. Complaints include complications such as device dislocation, joint pain and deterioration, loss of mobility, difficulty standing and sitting, bone damage, and metallosis, otherwise known as metal poisoning, which can reportedly occur when the metal parts of the knee rub against one another during normal wear and tear.
Some plaintiffs claim to have required Zimmer knee revision surgery to repair or even completely replace the device.