Plaintiff Kathy Batty was implanted with the NexGen Flex, a high-flexibility knee implant that was approved by the FDA in 2007.
She underwent total knee replacements on both knees in April 2009. Less than a year later, she began experiencing limited flexibility and chronic pain. She and claims both of her implants came loose within two years and needed revision surgery.
Attorneys for Batty argued that the NexGen is defective because it puts too much pressure on the back (“posterior”) edge of the tibial component, also known as “posterior edge loading.”
However, after a month-long trial, attorneys for Zimmer successfully convinced the jury that Batty lacked evidence that her problems were caused by a defective design. Instead, they blamed her for performing too much physical activity too soon after her surgery. They also blamed her surgeon for not properly securing the implants in place.
The trial was overseen by U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer in a federal court in Chicago where over 900 similar cases have been centralized in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2272).
The so-called “bellwether” trial process is an important part of the MDL. Trial outcomes are not binding on other cases in the litigation, but they can help attorneys evaluate how a jury will respond to evidence.
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