Cline v. Zimmer, Inc. et al, Case No. 3:14-cv-02361, filed June 30 in US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and Goodall v. Zimmer, Inc. et al, Case No. 3:14-cv-02360 and also filed in Northern Texas, are but two of the more recent examples of Zimmer patients unhappy with their devices.
It should be noted that not all Zimmer NexGen Knee Replacement components are under the gun. Just certain components, and namely the NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral component, which has been an issue for scores of patients and is alleged to present a high failure rate. Many a knee replacement patient unhappy with the performance of their medical device following replacement surgery (and many requiring painful revision surgery) have filed a NexGen lawsuit, in order to pursue compensation for their pain and suffering and - for some - payback for the rigors of having to go through a subsequent operation for revision surgery.
Prosthetic knees, like replacement hips, are historically designed to last upwards of 15 years with normal use. Some Zimmer knee implants have been found to fail far, far sooner.
However, various lawsuits involving the Zimmer knee implants haven’t stopped the venerable medical device company from growing. This past spring, Zimmer swallowed up its main rival in the implant manufacturing business, Biomet. Both companies are based in Warsaw, Indiana. Zimmer, according to The Elkhart Truth (4/14/14), shelled out $13.3 billion to acquire Biomet - $10.35 billion in cash, and the issuance of $3 billion in shares to shareholders of Biomet.
That leaves just Zimmer and DePuy duking it out in the artificial knee and hip category, with Zimmer firmly on top. But DePuy has strength overall, given that it is owned by juggernaut Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer firmly in place as the biggest player in the overall orthopedic business hands down.
But for knees and hips, Zimmer is on top.
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In an aside, it should be noted that Zimmer officials called the acquisition of Biomet “a perfect fit.” Zimmer plaintiffs alleging Zimmer knee replacement problems might be forgiven if they don’t feel the same way.
Knee and hip replacements, already a multibillion-dollar industry, are poised to grow exponentially in the next 10 years as baby boomers continue to age, and younger Americans hitting middle age continue to be dissatisfied with the failure of their own joints under years of stress from active lifestyles.
Certain Zimmer knee replacement components were subject to a Zimmer knee replacement recall; however, many plaintiffs believe the recall should be expanded. Instead, Zimmer appears to be expanding its empire…