The lawsuit was initially brought forward by Beverly Maxwell, who in 2004 underwent knee replacement surgery using Homedica's Duracon Total Knee System. In time, Maxwell began to develop a serious allergic reaction to the implant, which contained the element nickel, forcing her to undergo a second replacement surgery a year later.
Maxwell filed suit in the US District Court of Northern New York in 2007, claiming that the company manufactured a defective product and neglected to warn customers of the potential allergic reactions that could result from the replacements.
Earlier in the month, federal judge Glenn Suddbaby tossed the lawsuit out, claiming that Maxwell failed to demonstrate adequate proof of either a design defect or a lack of forewarning about possible side effects.
The judge attacked Maxwell's lack of information as to the average level of sensitivity to nickel and the industry-accepted levels of the metal in knee or hip replacements.