Lawsuit Over Zimmer Knee Replacement Component Sent to NexGen MDL

A panel of federal judges has rejected Zimmer’s attempt to block the transfer of a product liability lawsuit involving problems with one of their tibial components to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) established for all Zimmer NexGen knee replacement lawsuits, suggesting that the manufacturer was attempting to circumvent the authority of the judge presiding over that litigation.

Following a hearing before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on November 29, the panel issued an order (PDF) on December 6, approving the transfer of a complaint filed by Rosemary Falconeri in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to an MDL pending in the Northern District of Illinois, where it will be consolidated before Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer with other product liability lawsuits involving various Zimmer NexGen knee components.

In August 2011, the JPML established a Zimmer NexGen MDL for all federal lawsuits filed involving alleged design defects associated with certain models of the company’s knee replacement line. Because the cases involve common questions of fact and law, the litigation has been centralized for coordinated management during pretrial proceedings, to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.

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Zimmer Claims 5954 Tibial Component Does Not Belong in NexGen MDL

Zimmer opposed the transfer of the product liability lawsuit filed by Falconeri to the NexGen MDL, indicating that it did not belong in the consolidated proceedings because the component that allegedly caused the plaintiff to experience problems was a “5954” tibial component that was different from the “5950 MIS Tibial Component,” which is involved in many of the lawsuits in the MDL.

In approving the transfer last week, the JPML indicated that there are already at least 9 other Zimmer knee replacement lawsuits pending in the MDL that individuals who experienced problems with the 5954 component.

The Panel also note that the issue of whether these 9 cases should be included in the MDL is already pending before Judge Pallmeyer, but the MDL court has not yet made a decision.

“By the instant motion to vacate, Zimmer thus appears to want the Panel to decide an issue — whether claims concerning the 5954 component should remain in the MDL — that is already squarely before the transferee judge,” wrote Judge John G. Heyburn, II, Chairman of the U.S. JPML. “We are disinclined to do so. As Transferee judge in this docket since the MDL’s creation in August 2011, Judge Pallmeyer is in a better position to determine whether retaining claims involving the 5954 component in the MDL would serve the purposes of [the consolidated proceedings].”

Zimmer NexGen Knee Replacement MDL Involves Various Components

The Zimmer NexGen system was first introduced in 1995, with most components later approved without extensive trials or FDA investigation into their safety through the 510K fast-track approval program, which only requires that devices be “substantially equivalent” to medical devices already on the market to obtain marketing approval.

All of the complaints involved in the federal MDL involve similar allegations that plaintiffs experienced problems with certain Zimmer knee replacements, which were allegedly caused by design defects or Zimmer’s failure to provide accurate information about the risk of problems.

Some of the various components that have been a part of the litigation include the Zimmer NexGen LPS-Flex, Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex, Zimmer NexGen GSF LPS-Flex, Zimmer NexGen GSF CR-Flex and Zimmer NexGen MIS Tibial component.

1 Comments

  • RICHARDJuly 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    yes, in the year 1/2011- 5/2012 left knee, i have had my first TKR 6 months later one revision , i feel ,cheated on behalf of zimmer and the litigation process mdl , i was implanted with a cr nexge , MIS tibial tray guided by my doctor and zimmer about there products being the best and have had no relief a cr nexgen MIS 5954 TKR was used having one revision surgeries a year later i had it[Show More]yes, in the year 1/2011- 5/2012 left knee, i have had my first TKR 6 months later one revision , i feel ,cheated on behalf of zimmer and the litigation process mdl , i was implanted with a cr nexge , MIS tibial tray guided by my doctor and zimmer about there products being the best and have had no relief a cr nexgen MIS 5954 TKR was used having one revision surgeries a year later i had it done again from a faulty zimmer 5954 MIS tibial tray and FEMORAL component both, top and bottom components coming lose and never giving me my range of motion, bottom one twice ,i suffered terrible disabling pain an required 1 revision an one TKR surgery twice where is my justice all i have is bills and pain for the rest of my life wish i would have never done it my right knee is a zimmer too and hurts like hell....doctors even said it was lose and MRI x-rays confirmed so i ended up going to another doctor and have had a biomet SSK TKR revision now owed by zimmer which is just as bad and i did not have my right knee touched ,because they failed so badly with my left.

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