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Zimmer NexGen Knee Replacement

Zimmer knee replacementLarge numbers of patients nationwide have undergone total knee replacement surgery, but unfortunately, many of those are now experiencing serious Zimmer NexGen knee complications. As a result, an onslaught of litigation has been initiated against the manufacturer of numerous knee replacement components.

If you are among those who underwent knee replacement surgery as a means to achieve pain relief, increased mobility and added flexibility, only to be subjected to agonizing complications and painful revision operations, we want to help. At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, our product liability lawyers stand prepared to provide zealous representation and unrivaled client service to those adversely impacted by Zimmer knee implants.

History of Zimmer NexGen knee replacements

Replacement of knee joints with artificial implants is a procedure that has built momentum and won widespread acceptance in recent decades. Offering individuals suffering from osteoarthritis and other degenerative joint conditions an opportunity to regain freedom of movement and reduce pain, demand for such procedures led device manufacturers to introduce new products with relative frequency.

Zimmer, Inc. came to market with a family of knee replacement devices known as the NexGen Complete Knee Solution system in the mid nineties. Achieving FDA clearance through a less rigorous 510(k) premarket notification process that did not require  new clinical evaluation of its safety and effectiveness, the system quickly became extremely popular and spawned the NexGen “Flex” line that emerged in 2001. The Flex family of devices supposedly marked the introduction of certain notable innovations, though problems with certain knee replacements did not take long to become widely known.

Problems with NexGen Flex products begin to emerge

Typical knee replacements have long been widely touted as likely to last for roughly 10-15 years. However, countless patients who received Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex implants quickly began experiencing premature failure of several components.

Specifically, increasing numbers of FDA adverse event reports revealed that many individuals with Zimmer knee devices had suffered:

  • Fractures of one or more components
  • Loosening of knee components
  • Instability and dislocation
  • Shedding of metal debris into the bloodstream
  • Component corrosion

Some of the serious complications arising from these implant failures include:

  • Severe joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Systemic infection
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bone fractures
  • Nerve damage
  • Bone loss
  • Mobility loss
  • Reduced range of motion

In addition, the failure of certain NexGen knee components has caused many patients to require costly, painful and disruptive revision surgery to repair or fully replace the devices and treat the complications resulting from their presence in the body. Making things worse is the fact that placement of another new knee device can prove difficult if not possible when bone loss and tissue damage has already occurred.

Since 1952, the law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye has championed the rights of injured individuals everywhere, seeking fair compensation for the unnecessary pain and suffering that faulty knee implants have caused.

Dr. Richard Berger’s potentially pivotal findings

Lending further support to the proposition that Zimmer’s NexGen products presented unreasonable risk to knee replacement patients were the findings of orthopedic surgeon Richard Berger. Dr. Berger previously served as a highly-compensated consultant to Zimmer, designing joint devices and surgical tools for the company. His once-happy relationship with the device maker turned sour, however, when he and a colleague presented a report asserting that out of 108 Zimmer CR-Flex implant patients followed, 36% of them had experienced loosening of their new joint within a mere two years of their initial surgery.

Some 8.3% of those individuals required revision surgery within the same period. Berger’s report, entitled “The High Failure Rate of a High-Flex Total Knee Arthroplasty Design,” also found that one type of knee device failed prematurely in 9 percent of his subjects. Zimmer has vehemently disputed these conclusions, asserting that it was Dr. Berger’s surgical technique, not the devices themselves that caused the problems.

Certain NexGen components recalled

Despite continued outcry from those who have experienced debilitating side effects from Zimmer knee implants, the FDA has only conducted limited recalls of specific NexGen products. The agency has not sought to remove any single model entirely from the market.

Some of the components subject to these limited actions included:

  • NexGen MIS Tibial Components
  • NexGen TM Tibial Tray
  • NexGen LPS-Flex Femoral Components
  • MIS Modular Tibial Keels and Plates

Filing a Zimmer knee lawsuit

In light of the serious harm suffered by large numbers of Zimmer knee implant recipients, it should come as no surprise that hundreds of them have filed personal injury lawsuits against the manufacturer. Common allegations in these cases include assertions that the company marketed a defectively designed product, that it failed to sufficiently warm consumers and physicians of known risks, that it acted negligently in its marketing of the products and that it failed to conduct appropriate clinical testing before bringing the implants to market.

Plaintiffs who have experienced severe complications from Zimmer knee implants often face challenges both physical and financial in nature, and it is important for them to assert their rights to full and fair compensation.

Victims of faulty medical devices may be entitled to compensation for things such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Status of Zimmer knee litigation

Because the number of Zimmer knee lawsuits brought in federal court throughout the United States has grown so significantly, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) was established as a means to consolidate similar cases in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. This was done in order to streamline discovery processes, avoid inconsistent pretrial rulings and perhaps facilitate settlements in cases involving similar injuries and legal theories.

Well over 1,000 Zimmer NexGen cases have been included in MDL No. 2272 to date, and the first bellwether trials are set to begin in early 2015. The outcome of these matters will likely be influential in determining the probability of a broad-based settlement affecting large numbers of plaintiffs. The cases will serve as a barometer of jury attitudes toward each side’s evidence, expert witnesses and legal arguments, and may push Zimmer to seek resolution, rather than engage in seemingly endless litigation.

How our product liability lawyers can help

Product liability cases are always extremely complicated matters involving a great deal of medical information and technical terminology, realms with which not every attorney is terribly familiar. Victims of unsafe medical devices should never attempt to do battle with manufacturing giants on their own, and the assistance of skilled product liability lawyers can prove invaluable.

The attorneys of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are at the forefront of personal injury litigation, and we possess the knowledge and resources necessary to win. Our network of medical experts, case investigators and legal support staff can effectively assemble key evidence, review important documentation and build the strongest case possible for every single client.

At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, we pledge to:

  • Remain personally accessible to clients at all times
  • Respond promptly to inquiries and requests for case updates
  • Secure the very best expert testimony available
  • Serve as skilled settlement negotiators
  • Provide aggressive trial advocacy, whenever necessary

We understand the suffering caused by failed knee replacements, and we want you to know that you are not alone. By enlisting the aid of a talented team of Zimmer knee attorneys, you can make a substantial difference in your chances of securing the outcome you desire and deserve.

Zimmer knee lawyers seeking justice for victims

While we believe it is vital that those who have been harmed by knee replacement components to receive every dollar of financial compensation they deserve, the attorneys of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are also committed to the cause of holding the manufacturers of those implants accountable for the damage they have done.

To begin your personal process of healing and to receive a no-cost initial consultation, please contact us at 800-469-7429.

  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Total Knee Replacement, http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00389
  2. Zimmer, About Zimmer Knee Proucts, http://www.zimmer.com/en_US/pc/article/zimmer-knee-products.jspx
  3. New York Times, Surgeon vs. Knee Maker: Who's Rejecting Whom?, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/business/20knee.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0