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Knee Replacement Settlements Reached in Remaining Zimmer NexGen Cases

  • Written by: Austin Kirk
  • 6 Comments

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According to recent court filings, an agreement has been reached to settle all knee replacement lawsuits involving problems with certain Zimmer NexGen implants, potentially ending years of litigation.

Zimmer Biomet currently faces about 300 product liability lawsuits pending in the federal court system involving variations of the NexGen implant. At one point, the litigation included more than 1,300 claims, however, following prior court rulings, the number has been reduced.

Since August 2011, the federal Zimmer NexGen knee cases have been centralized as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is designed to reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of parties, witnesses and the courts.

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 involve similar allegations that certain configurations of the Zimmer NexGen artificial knee system are prone to fail within a few years.

On February 12, Judge Pallmeyer issued a case management order (PDF), which indicates that the parties have reached a confidential settlement in principal, which will potential resolve all state and federal cases pending as of January 14. Therefore, the Court has stayed all proceedings to allow the lawyers to finalize and administer the knee replacement settlements, and encourage the full resolution of the litigation.

For any newly filed cases, or claims that do not settle, Judge Pallmeyer has indicated that the plaintiffs must have support from case-specific experts willing to testify at trial in their cases, providing various deadlines for submission of expert reports.

“Plaintiffs and Plaintiff’s counsel in any newly filed cases, or any cases that are not resolved as a result of the confidential settlement, who fail to serve the expert report required by [the] deadline to do so, or who voluntarily dismiss their cases after that deadline, shall be sanctioned,” according to the Order. “Such sanctions shall be set, at the court’s discretion, in an amount sufficient to deter noncompliance with Case Management Orders, and to remedy the costs associaed with any such noncompliance.”

Co-Lead Counsel for plaintiffs and the manufacturer have been directed to provide monthly updates to the Court on the status of the efforts to settle the knee replacement cases.

The agreement comes as a number of other manufacturers face a growing number of product liability complaints over alleged design defects with other, newer knee systems, including DePuy Attune knee implantsExactech Optetrak knee systems, and the Arthrex iBalance knee.

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6 comments

  1. Charlene Reply

    I had a Zimmer knee replacement and was originally in the lawsuit, I had to have a revision because of failure shortly after. Not sure how they decided to drop me from the pending lawsuit, but it is not fair how only 300+ cases moved forward, but others didn’t.

  2. Kathy Reply

    The same thing happened to me. I had to have a total knee replacement revision less than 2 1/2 years after my first surgery due to faulty Zimmer NexGen parts. The law firm dropped my case when the Dr would not confirm that the revision was caused by the recalled parts. Very unfair and unethical as it has caused much difficulty.

  3. James Reply

    Had knee replacement surgery in 2012 suffered for 6 years new knee just 2 months post op no pain at all. However having to have another replacement surgery is ridiculous.

  4. Sandra Reply

    I have had nothing but trouble with replacements and revisions. I am having my first revision in 9 weeks on my right knee and am on my 2nd revision of my left. My knees wouldn’t bend immedieatly after initial replacements. My doctor who had done my last 3 surgeries didn’t care at all that I had 2 painful knees that won’t bend and have had 2 Minuplations after each surgery too. The nurses at Penn in pre op wanted me to see another Doctor. I did and found out I’m allergic to Nickel. No promises that my knees will ever bend again! I am also waiting to see if my lawyer can get my knee replacements into a Program with Zimmer where I possibly can get a little $$$$. Fingers crossed for everybody! All the best, Sandra

  5. Jesse Reply

    I am left out in the cold because the courts settled the lawsuit against Zimmer NexGen complete knee solution in 2018.I had a total right replacement in April 2016 in August 2016 I had to have a revision surgery on that same knee because a part of that knee came loose and had to be cement back in place that’s why I was having so much pain, now I need to have a third surgery on that same knee because of the same problems.

  6. Paula Reply

    I had a knee replacement done in 2007, making popping noises since I got it. is was loose rite after I got it. 1st 4 yrs was bad but do able, (known what i had to do to get fixed!!!)
    I had 13 back and 10+ knee surgerys, all since 2002, to 2010… DONT WANT NO MORE!
    I get sever!! anxiety when I need to have surgies… I heard of class act lawsuit a yr after I got my knee.. I called, they informed me if they won, there would be money set aside for all cases that had not filed, they are very aware of how many implant were used…
    SO I didn’t fill out the paperwork, it wouldn’t change the amount each would receive, there would be a set amount for each person that would later file a claim. unless u had a severe case, it didnt matter, they wanted the worste for court..
    My problems seemed to be a standard issue.. that everyone had.. I’m upset that the case didnt work like that!! u didn’t file, OR have a GOOD CASE 4 COURT, u won’t get a dime!!! But ATTORNEYS GET PAID FOR ARE SUFFERING AN WE GET NOTHING!
    TOTAL BS.. there not the ones who suffer daily with the pain, and inconvenience, AND THEN HAVE TO GO UNDER THE KNIFE TO FIX, or go thru the LONG RECOVERY, PAIN, HARD WORK, FOR A YR + BEFORE THINGS START TO FEEL NORMAL! Or as normal as can be.. we have a knee that is knumb to touch, a HUGE ASS UGLY SCAR!! and that takes years to fade back so it’s not so noticable!!!
    SO I’m PIST, I was fed false info. And all us that have the stupid knee, that didn’t file, thinking we all would be honored in the end… or all those who had no idea oF the law suit, they didn’t file.. the older people that get these stupid knees, they don’t sit on cumputers, or phones, to see a ad, they don’t watch tv, but maybe a news show a day.. THEY WOULD NEVER NO.. UNLESS INFORMED BY ATTORNEYS…. Doctors don’t SAY ANYTHING LIKE THAT! they don’t want to b sued.
    I wouldn’t of known if I didn’t see a ad,
    I never got anything in the mail about this, they could of mailed every client with the knee parts.. an told of this issue…
    I hate class acts, it’s a attorneys way to GET RICH!! they’ll have hundreds or thousands of people they handle, put all cases into 1 case, they take 35-40% of the hole settlement, and then the rest may get 500 if there lucky..
    And then anyone later having no part of that suit, can try to go after them, but the class act kinda finilized the intire case, if it was for the same thing, so now your getting nothing for pain an suffering, and the attorneys don’t care they got a HUGE PAY DAY!!
    There not the ones who have to live with the issues, and to fix it, go back and get cut open an face a yr. Of work to get that knee to feel an move normal again.. the pain we go thru after surgery yes it’s not forever, but it’s hard work!! An NOT FUN!! AND THE ATTORNEYS NEW THERE WERE MANY OF US OUT THERE SUFFERING!! THEY JUST WANTED THE WORST TO WIN THE CASE TO GET THE BIGGEST PAY OUT… AND if there wasn’t enough money to pay everyone over 100 or more, they must dump cases, after the recall went out, they new the amount they could win wasnt going to be enough to pay everyone… so they dumped most cases.. attorneys were to care an want to help fight for our rights????
    Like doctors suppose to care an want to help people… the world isn’t like that anymore…. it’s all about the money $$$$!, HOW MUCH CAN they get… they don’t care about us… Doctors don’t come to court to help someone sue there distributer, theyll loose money if they did that!!
    That’s the world we live in… I wish there was a way to fix the stupid knee, without having to be cut wide open, and go thru all the BS, all over again… I shouldn’t have to… it should of never been a approved knee!! Now we are stuck!! Live with it….. or do it all over again!!! Wish someone made each one involved with putting this bad part out, was forced to have there knees replaced with these bad parts, to understand just what we went thru, an now must do again to fix it!!!!!!
    And there’s nothing we get back for all this suffering!!!! So not right!!!

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