Articles Posted in Knee Replacement

zimmer nextgen knee bellwetherThere  1,300 Zimmer NexGen knee product liability lawsuits are pending throughout the country.  Countless more victims are waiting on the sidelines (maybe to soon lose their rights because of the statute of limitations).

The progress on these knee replacement lawsuits in recent months can best be summarized by “well, they are coming along.”  Now, at least, there is a more concrete plan to move this litigation forward.

On March 24th, Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, the judge overseeing all the consolidated federal cases pending in the U.S. District Courts, identified six cases that will be part of the “initial tranche” of Zimmer NexGen bellwether trials. A bellwether trial consists of test cases that allow the parties to see what a jury will do with a claim that is typical of the class.  Why?  So the parties can get a better idea of just what the value of the cases might be.   These are called bellwether cases, often precursors for settlement talks, are expected to begin in 2015.

First introduced in 1995, NexGen Complete Knee Solution System was one of Zimmer’s most successful knee products.

In 2001, Zimmer attempted to capitalize on the success of this product line by releasing a modified version of the original design, the NexGen Flex line of products, designed to achieve 155 degrees of flexion.

Most components were approved without extensive trials or FDA investigation into their safety through the 510K fast-track approval program.  This FDA program allows medical devices to enter the market without requiring manufacturers to conduct clinical studies.

Instead, the manufacturer must only demonstrate the device is substantially equivalent to other similar products already on the market. So the actual product that goes into a patient’s knee is not tested like these medical devices should be tested.

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smith nephew knee replacement defects

Smith & Nephew knee replacements are failing at an unacceptable rate

Our lawyers are investigating knee replacement lawsuits against Smith & Nephew.

These knee replacements have been on the market for some time. The reason for the lawsuits is simply: the Smith & Nephew knee replacements are simply failing at an unacceptable rate. These were supposed to be knee replacements that would last for 10 to 20 years. Patients who have these devices implanted may be entitled to revision surgery, medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages.

The Zimmer NexGen knee replacement lawsuits were initially scattered in courts around the country, until Plaintiffs with cases in federal courts requested consolidation of all federal cases before the MDL (multidistrict litigation). A hearing was held on July 28, 2011, and Zimmer opposed consolidation. The judicial panel noted:

On the basis of the papers filed and hearing session held, we find that these… actions involve common questions of fact, and that centralization… in the Northern District of Illinois will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation. The subject actions share factual issues arising from allegations that Zimmer’s “high-flex” femoral components… and/or the MIS Tibial component—all of which are used in knee replacement surgery—are prone to premature loosening, causing affected individuals pain and loss of movement, and often forcing them to undergo revision surgery.

On August 8, 2011, the MDL was approved, designated as In Re: Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2272). There are approximately 117 (as of November 16 ) federal Zimmer NexGen knee replacement cases pending in the MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer is presiding over these cases.

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