Zimmer Knee Lawsuit Added to NexGen MDL

Federal judges have rejected Zimmer’s try to stop the transfer of a lawsuit alleging problems with one of hteir replacement knees to a Zimmer NexGen knee lawsuit MDL, suggesting that the company was trying to circumvent the authority of the judge presiding over the MDL.

The transfer order was filed by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on December 6, approving the transfer of a suit filed by Rosemary Falconeri to the Zimmer MDL pending in the Northern District of Illinois.

The Zimmer MDL was established in August 2011, consolidating all federal Zimmer knee design defect lawsuits before one judge for coordinated pretrial management.  This will also help reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings, and serve the convenience of all parties involved.

Zimmer opposed the transfer of the Falconeri suit based on claims that the case was based on a 5954 tibial component, different from the 5950 component that is at the heart of the other lawsuits in the MDL.  However, when the JPML approved the transfer, they pointed out that there are already at least 9 other claims involving the 5954 component involved in the MDL.  The issue of whether these 9 cases should be included in the MDL will be decided upon shortly.

“By the instant motion to vacate, Zimmer thus appears to want the Panel to decide an issue — whether claims concerning the 5954 component should remain in the MDL — that is already squarely before the transferee judge,” wrote Judge John G. Heyburn, II, Chairman of the U.S. JPML. “We are disinclined to do so. As Transferee judge in this docket since the MDL’s creation in August 2011, Judge Pallmeyer is in a better position to determine whether retaining claims involve the 5954 component in the MDL would serve the purposes of [the consolidated proceedings].”

Introduced in 1995, the Zimmer NexGen knee system was sped through the approval process based ont eh 510K fast-track approval system, which requires that a device needs to be “substantially equivalent” to a device that has already been approved to obtain marketing approval.

All of the complaints in the Zimmer MDL involve claims that plaintiffs suffered problems based on design flaws in the knee replacements, and that Zimmer did not provide adequate truthful information about the risks associated with their potentially defective medical device.


Contact a Zimmer Knee Lawyer

If you or a loved one has suffered pain, injury, immobility, or knee replacement revision surgery after implantation with a Zimmer NexGen knee, you may be entitled to substantial compensation in a medical product liability lawsuit.  Learn more about your rights: contact a personal injury lawyer today to schedule a free legal consultation.

Jan. 7, 2013 | Tags: Dangerous Medical Devices, Defective Medical Devices, Zimmer

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