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Lawsuit Alleges Failed Zimmer NexGen Knee Replacement Led to Revision

Jul 5, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP

A new lawsuit filed earlier this week in a New York federal court claims the Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant recieved by the plaintiff is defective and has led to one revision surgery already and an expected future of rising medical costs.

The woman suffering the injuries as a result of this defective knee implant is being represented by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP, which represents victims of defective knee and hip implants across the U.S. The firm filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 2. In that court, before Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, is the Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Multidistrict Litigation (MDL, No. 2272), which this lawsuit will join. Parker Waichman represents more than a dozen victims of Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant injuries.

The woman was fitted with the Zimmer NexGen GSF LPS-Flex Knee Implant in July 2009 and in just four months had begun experiencing complications related to the artificial joint. In October 2010, the woman underwent a revision surgery to correct loosening of the implant. A loose knee implant can cause bone loss and result in pain and serious injuries and greatly reduce a recipient’s overall mobility. If the implant persists on loosening, it will always cause the same complications and result in more costly revision surgeries. Each revision surgery also greatly reduces a person’s chance of regaining full mobility.

The lawsuit has been filed against Zimmer Inc., Zimmer Holdings Inc., and Zimmer Orthopaedic Surgical Products Inc. and includes three counts of Strict Liability (including Design Defect, Failure to Warn and Manufacturing Defect, Negligence, Negligent Misrepresentation, Breach of Express and Implied Warranty, Redhibition, Violation of Consumer Protection Statutes, Unjust Enrichment and Punitive Damages. It seeks compensatory damages and statutory damages for the woman suffering the injuries, as well as attorney’s fees.

In the charges, the woman claims her or her doctor could not have known that the Zimmer NexGen knee implant could have caused these injuries. Zimmer is accused of not informing physicians of this implant’s early failure rate. Studies have shown that these knee implants were not polished properly and they are more prone to increased wear, earlier failures, and polyethylene debris generation.

The knee implant was passed through the Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) “fast track” approval system that grants express approvals on medical devices and other pharmaceuticals which mirror designs of products which are supposed to have undergone more extensive pre-market testing. A lack of knowledge that the Zimmer NexGen GSF LPS-Flex Knee Implant was prone to early failures could have been detected through more rigorous pre-market safety testing.

This implant is just one of more than 80 on the market today that have breezed through the FDA “fast-track” system that could cause serious injuries or death

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