November 9, 2015- On Friday, Zimmer was cleared of liability in the first of more than 900 U.S. lawsuits headed to trial over allegations that its NexGen Flex knee replacements caused painful, motion-impairing loosening.
The jurors returned a verdict for Zimmer in the lawsuit brought forth by Kathy Patty after a three-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Batty, a patient who suffers from degenerative joint disease, underwent a total knee replacement on both knees in 2009 using the NexGen Flex system by Zimmer. Within a year of having the replacement, Batty began to experience severe pain, which led to her having to replace the implants by 2011. Batty, along with other plaintiffs, accused Zimmer of designing a flawed product and failing to properly warn doctors about its potential risks.
While the outcome of Batty’s trial won’t be binding on other cases, it’s a critical win for Zimmer in the consolidated federal litigation, holding more than 900 cases. This victory is significant due to the fact that lead plaintiff lawyers selected Batty’s case to be the first trial on the belief that it was one of the “strongest cases in this litigation.”
Zimmer was pleased with the verdict and looked forward to defending its NexGen Flex products “in as many trials as are necessary.” The lead lawyers for Batty did not issue statements regarding the verdict.
Zimmer’s NexGen Flex was cleared for sale by the FDA in 2007, and was designed to give patients better flexibility than standard knee devices. Plaintiffs claim the marketing for the devices falsely implied that they could engage in activities involving frequent knee flexing, when actually the devices cannot withstand such additional force and strain. A flaw in the NexGen Flex design can cause it to loosen prematurely, requiring more surgery to fix or replace the original implant.
Zimmer has denied the devices are defective and they claim they have a successful track record. In addition, they argued that Batty’s alleged injuries could have been caused by other factors, like infection. Zimmer Holding Inc’s $14 billion purchase of their rival device maker Biomet was also approved earlier this year, creating the official Zimmer Biomet.
While the first U.S. trial wasn’t a victory for the patient, we hope to see the next 900 cases have more success for the victims of this dangerous device.
If you, or a loved one, had this device implanted and have had complications, contact Hood National Law Group today.
Contact us today at 1-800-214-1010.