Zimmer Persona Knee Implant Lawsuit Filed Over Tibial Baseplate Failure

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After experiencing problems with a Zimmer Persona knee replacement, where the tibial base plate failed and resulted in the need for revision surgery, a New Jersey man has filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the artificial knee system. 

In a complaint (PDF) filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on January 12, Anthony C. Vessella, Sr. indicates that Zimmer, Inc. sold a “defective” and “unreasonably dangerous” knee replacement device, which was prone to loosen and cause severe pain, as well as the need for repeat surgical procedures.

Vessella had a Zimmer Persona knee implanted in his body in July 2014, including a trabecular metal tibial base plate. However, the lawsuit indicate that the base plate failed and caused him to require revision surgery in March 2016, about a year after a Zimmer Persona recall was announced for the same component.

Due to the Zimmer knee implant failure, Vessella indicates that he has been left with permanent injuries, which impacts the functioning of his new replacement knee implant.

“As a result of the failed medical device, the revised knee implant is not functioning at its full potential due in part to the loss of bone cartilage, surface and tissue from the original defective Persona device,” the lawsuit states.

The Zimmer Persona knee replacement system was introduced in late 2012, marketed by the manufacturer as having “[a]natomically accurate components available for a new level of fit tailored to each patient’s unique anatomy.”

The “Personalized Knee” system was designed to provide a high degree of accuracy in it’s fit. However, it now appears that the Zimmer knee design carried an increased risk of loosening, pain and ultimately failure, requiring risky knee revision surgery.

recall for Zimmer Persona knees was announced by the FDA in March 2015, impacting all lots and sizes of the Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate used during knee replacement procedures throughout the United States between November 2012 and early 2015.

According to the manufacturer, the complaint rate was higher than expected when compared to similar devices, acknowledging that about six out of every 1,000 implants may fail. However, some critics suggest that the risk of Zimmer Persona knee problems may ultimately be much higher the longer the implants remain in bodies.

Vessella presents claims of defective design, failure to warn, manufacturing defect, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, and fraud. He seeks both compensatory and punitive damages. His wife presents a claim of loss of consortium.

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