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Zimmer Knee Replacement Lawsuits May be Consolidated

Jun 22, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP

A plaintiff in a Zimmer NexGen knee replacement lawsuit is seeking to have all such lawsuits consolidated in a multidistrict litigation.  In a motion filed June 6, the plaintiff asks the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to transfer all current and future Zimmer NexGen knee lawsuits to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and assign them to Judge Joan LeFkow.  The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has scheduled a hearing on the issue for July 28 in San Francisco.

An MDL allows lawsuits associated with a particular product to be coordinated under one judge for pretrial litigation to avoid duplicative discovery, inconsistent rulings and to conserve the resources of the parties, witnesses and the court.

There are currently 28 lawsuits pending in 13 federal districts involving Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex femoral components, Zimmer NexGen MIS tibial components or Zimmer NexGen LPS-Flex femoral components.  The MDL motion points out that the NexGen MIS Tibial component is marketed and promoted as compatible with the LPS-Flex and CR-Flex femoral components and they are often used together. According to the motion, of the 28 cases now pending against Zimmer, many are a combination of a NexGen high-flex and NexGen MIS tibial.

According to the motion, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Class II recall relating to the NexGen MIS Tibial components in September 2010, after a study revealed a failure rate of up to 24% when a stem/keel was not used with the tibial component.  It further alleges that Zimmer NexGen high-flex Knee Implant Devices have been reported to have a failure rate of 9 percent.

Zimmer NexGen knee lawsuits accuse the makers of the devices of downplaying and understating their risks.  Because the devices failed earlier than expected, plaintiffs claim they have suffered permanent disability or the need for revision surgery.

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