The first bellwether trial challenging the reliability of the Zimmer NexGen knee implant is under way in an Illinois federal court where a Pittsburgh resident is alleging the device failed twice. Langdon & Emison is handling cases nationwide involving Zimmer’s NexGen and Persona artificial knee devices.
According to Law 360, patient Kathy Batty was forced to undergo knee replacement surgery in 2009 due to a degenerative joint disease that caused the tissue in her knee joints to rub away. But in 2011, she had to have the NexGen devices implanted for a second time after loosening of the devices caused her to experience severe pain and limited her range of motion.
Many artificial knees rely on a cement-like adhesive to bond the thigh bone to the portion of the knee replacement that bends. Zimmer’s Nex Gen knee implant is an uncemented version that relies on the bone to naturally fuse with the knee implant.
Many surgeons try to avoid adhesives because they can break down and cause the device to fail; however, Batty’s device failed to bond with the bone, according to a doctor who testified about the damage caused to both of Batty’s knees after the implant came loose.
Thousands of lawsuits allege Zimmer’s NexGen artificial knee implants are defective in their design. Zimmer has repeatedly blamed the alleged defects and failures of its knee replacements on the surgeon’s technique, rather than the artificial joints.
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