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Zimmer Holdings Expands Along with Its NexGen Knee Lawsuits

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Chicago, ILQuestion: What is “Pop, crack, crunch, pop?” Answer: A Zimmer NexGen knee replacement walking.

Carl’s Zimmer knee replacement in 2008 lasted only four years. “Right from the get-go I heard popping noises and my knee would give out even when I walked slowly,” he says. “My surgeon told me this Zimmer knee would last about 20 years but I had it replaced in 2012 and wouldn’t you know it, they implanted another freaking NexGen knee!”

Lisanne, age 60, is having similar problems from her NexGen knee replacement that is only five years old. “I can’t walk downstairs without severe pain and have trouble sleeping due to knee pain and severe back pain caused from not walking properly,” she says. “And because I am walking this way, my other knee is giving me grief. It’s a vicious circle: now I’m facing one knee revision surgery and another knee replacement. I was better off with my own knee - I should have just put up with a little pain in my knee. Now I have pain everywhere…”

Carl and Lisanne are just two of more than 1,000 people who have filed NexGen CR-Flex knee system lawsuits nationwide. The lawsuits allege serious side effects caused by the NexGen knee, including pain, difficulty walking and implant failure.

All federal cases were consolidated in the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois back in 2011. In an order issued in March 2014, presiding judge Rebecca Pallmeyer identified six Zimmer NexGen bellwether trials (each side selected three cases) and scheduled the first bellwether cases for trial in 2015.

Meanwhile, Zimmer Holdings announced in April of this year that it is buying Biomet for $13.35 billion. This acquisition will place Zimmer as the second-largest seller of orthopedic products (Johnson & Johnson is first). In a statement on April 24, 2014, a Zimmer spokesperson said this move would “increase its selection of products to treat knees, hips and bones, and double the size of its dental and spine business.” Zimmer NexGen victims likely hope this move will increase its funds to settle more than 1,000 lawsuits.

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