Zimmer Orthopedics has asked that all New Jersey personal injury lawsuits involving some components in its NexGen Knee Replacement line be centralized in one state court. In a motion filed last month, lawyers for Zimmer argue for centralization in Middlesex County, which they say is the least congested venue and centrally located for all parties.
Zimmer has been named in numerous lawsuits through out the country involving various NexGen knee components. As we’ve reported previously, the components named in complaints include Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex femoral components, Zimmer NexGen MIS tibial components and Zimmer NexGen LPS-Flex femoral components. All of the lawsuits allege that plaintiffs experienced problems following knee replacement surgery as a result of design defects with the Zimmer NexGen components. In many cases, those problems often resulted in the need for painful revision surgeries.
According to its December 15 motion, Zimmer is seeking centralization of New Jersey lawsuits involving the following NexGen components:
- NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral Component
- NexGen CR-Flex Precoat Femoral Component
- NexGen Gender Solutions CR-Flex Precoat Femoral Component
- NexGen LPS Flex Precoat Femoral Component
- NexGen LPS Flex Option Femoral Component
NexGen Gender Solutions LPS-Flex Femoral Component
MIS Total Knee Procedure Stemmed Tibial Component Fixed Bearing Precoat.
Lawsuits naming other NexGen Knee Replacement components have been filed in New Jersey, but Zimmer contends that those claims have little in common with complaints naming the above components.
Last August, all federal NexGen Knee Replacement component lawsuits filed in federal courts were centralized in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Currently, 133 lawsuits are pending in the MDL, while 43 are awaiting transfer.
Zimmer obtained approval for the NexGen knee replacement components through the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) controversial 510(k) approval process. As we’ve reported in the past, this approval protocol allows devices to be cleared without human testing if they are shown to be “substantially equivalent” to one already on the market. Over the past year, the 510(k) process has attracted quite a bit of scrutiny. Over the summer, the Institute of Medicine called on the FDA to scrap the 510(k) process, saying it offered patients no assurance of safety. In June, , the Archives of Internal Medicine published a review that found that of 113 medical devices recalled between 2005 and 2009 because they could cause serious health problems or death, 80 had undergone 510(k) approvals. Many of those devices were recalled because of concerns the product could kill or seriously harm a patient.