October 16, 2015 — Zimmer Inc. is facing the first “bellwether” trial out of nearly 1,000 lawsuits claiming the NexGen Flex knee replacement is defective.
Law360 reports that Dr. Joseph Fetto testified about the damage to her knees. He said the NexGen failed to adhere to her bones and loosened prematurely, causing severe pain and limited range of motion. Attorneys for Zimmer blamed her surgeon for failing to properly cement the implant into place.
Zimmer is currently facing 936 lawsuits in a federal litigation (MDL No. 2272) overseen by Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer in the Northern District of Illinois.
The lawsuit chosen for trial was filed by plaintiff Kathy Batty, a woman from Pittsburgh forged to undergo revision surgery when NexGen implants in both of her knees failed.
Batty was implanted with NexGen Flex components in both of her knees in April 2009. She says she chose the implant because it was marketed as a high-flexibility knee implant that would allow her to squat and kneel — essential for her job as a custodian for the U.S. Postal Service.
Unfortunately, less than a year after the surgery, she began experiencing complications. In April and May 2011, she had revision surgery to remove the NexGen and replace it with another device. Her lawsuit was filed in July 2012.
According to the complaint, the NexGen Flex design is defective and caused her implant to prematurely loosen by increasing the forces and strain on the implant:
“One of Ms. Batty’s specific theories of defect is that the design puts excessive strain on the back (“posterior”) edge of the tibial component, a phenomenon called “posterior edge loading.”
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