Tentative Settlement Reached in Zimmer NexGen Knee-Implant MDL

. By Lucy Campbell

Preliminary agreement could end 300 claims if approved

Zimmer, the maker of NexGen knee replacements and the defendant in a defective products multi-district litigation (MDL) has reached a preliminary settlement with the plaintiffs in the longstanding MDL.

If approved, the settlement will end seven years of litigation, during which some 300 plaintiffs alleged the engineering changes that Zimmer made to allow a greater degree of flexibility in its NexGen components in fact caused greater stress on the knee implants. The NexGen high-flex components theoretically allow patients to bend their knees by 155 degrees, while standard NexGen components provide for up to 125 degrees of bending, according to the plaintiffs.

The Zimmer NexGen knee replacement system has been on the market, almost half a million people in the US alone have had Zimmer knee implants. However, the Zimmer knee replacement, namely the NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral component, has been linked to a variety of problems, from loosening of the implant to failure of the replacement knee, requiring revision surgery, as the plaintiffs in the MDL also allege.

The case is In Re: Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:11-cv-05468, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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