Centralization of Lawsuits Over Zimmer NexGen Flex Knees Sought in NJ

Zimmer is seeking to centralize all lawsuits over NexGen Flex knee components that have been filed in New Jersey state court. 

The company filed a motion to centralize the New Jersey litigation on December 15, saying that the cases would benefit from being centralized under one judge for pre-trial proceedings.

Zimmer is asking that all state court Zimmer NexGen Flex knee lawsuits be centralized in Middlesex County, which they say is the least congested venue presently in New Jersey and centrally located for all parties.

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All federal complaints involving problems with Zimmer NexGen knee replacements have already been consolidated as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, which is centralized in Illinois.

There are currently at least 133 lawsuits over Zimmer NexGen knee components centralized in the federal MDL, with another 43 waiting transfer. There are at least 19 Zimmer NexGen lawsuits pending in various state courts nationwide, with six in New Jersey.

All of the complaints involve allegations that plaintiffs experienced problems following knee replacement surgery as a result of design defects with certain Zimmer NexGen components. Plaintiffs allege that they suffered catastrophic implant failures, often resulting in the need for revision surgery to remove or replace the implants because the artificial knee systems failed far in advance of their projected lifespan. Zimmer allegedly downplayed and understated the risk of problems.

In New Jersey state court, the company is only looking to centralize those cases involving the 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 and MIS Total Knee Procedure Stemmed Tibial Component Fixed Bearing Precoat. While there are other components under the NexGen label that are the subjects of New Jersey lawsuits, the company argued that those have little similarity with NexGen Flex Femoral Components.

Zimmer opposed consolidation at the federal level, saying that MDL covered too broad a selection of NexGen components. The company argued that there are at least eight different artificial knee products involved in the MDL, which would have to go through their own separate discovery process and that the consolidated discovery would be difficult due to requirements to protect the company’s trade secrets.

In its motion to consolidate the New Jersey claims, Zimmer says the claims against the listed components are nearly identical and will involve common issues of law and fact. The company also expects numerous additional lawsuits to be filed on both the state and federal level.


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