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By: Staff Writers | Published: April 8th, 2011
An Illinois man has filed a product liability lawsuit alleging that he experienced problems with the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Porous knee replacement system as a result of a defective design, which caused the artificial knee to loosen inside his body and led to the need for additional surgery.
The Zimmer NexGen knee lawsuit was filed by Robert Carr, of Chicago, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The complaint names Zimmer Holdings, Inc. and various subsidiaries as defendants, alleging that the companies developed, designed, manufactured, distributed and sold a defective knee replacement product, the Zimmer NexGen CR and Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Pourous Femoral knee replacement system.
Carr alleges that he received the Zimmer knee replacement in November 2007, and began experiencing severe pain approximately one year after surgery. He was advised that his Zimmer NexGen knee was loosening and he ultimately required a second surgery to revise and replace the knee in March 2010.
The complaint revolves around the same Zimmer NexGen knee replacement that was the focus of concern at the annual conference of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons last year. In March 2010, the same month as Carr’s revision surgery, data was presented by several prominent surgeons, including Dr. Richard A. Berger, a former Zimmer knee implant consultant, that suggested Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex knee replacement problems resulted in revision surgery in nearly 9% of cases examined and resulted in knee replacement loosening in more than a third of the cases.
Although Zimmer previously paid Dr. Berger millions of dollars to work as an orthopaedic consultant, they reportedly dismissed the surgeon’s concerns and canceled their relationship with him. The medical device manufacturer suggested that the problems identified by Dr. Berger were caused by his surgical skills or technique, not the design of the device.
In August 2010, Senator Charles E. Grassley wrote a letter to the Zimmer CEO and President requesting additional information on what the company was doing to respond to complaints about failures with some Zimmer products and whether there were more consultants who had raised concerns about the company’s implants.
In September 2010, a Zimmer NexGen knee recall was issued for other components, including the NexGen TM Tibial Trays, NexGen MIS Tibial Components and MIS Modular Tibial Plates and Keels. The recall was issued after the company received at least 114 reports of Zimmer NexGen knee loosenings and other complications involving those products.
A growing number of Zimmer NexGen lawsuits similar to the complaint filed by Robert Carr are being pursued by individuals throughout the United States who have experienced loosening or failure of their knee replacement.