According to the lawsuit, as reported by The Southeast Texas Record (10/18/12), the plaintiff, Beverly Mulson, filed the lawsuit alleging her Zimmer NexGen knee device came loose, requiring revision surgery. The original device was reportedly implanted in April 2007, with the revision surgery occurring in June 2011. The lawsuit alleges the Zimmer NexGen was defectively designed and further claims Zimmer Inc. failed to warn about the risks associated with the knee device.
Mulson seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Lawsuits included in the multidistrict litigation allege Zimmer marketed the NexGen devices as being superior to other joint replacement devices because they were built to fit patients better and provide a greater ranger of movement. Furthermore, the procedures used to implant the devices were allegedly marketed as being less invasive than the procedures associated with other devices. But lawsuits allege the knee devices had higher than expected failure rates because of their design.
Revision surgery to replace defective implants is often more complex than the initial surgery and comes with an increased risk of complications, not to mention longer recovery times and economic losses as patients take time off work for their surgery.
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Approximately 500 lawsuits have been consolidated in Zimmer multidistrict litigation. They allege the device should have lasted up to 15 years but in some cases, patients experienced signs of device failure within a year of it being implanted. Approximately three million NexGen knees have been implanted since the device was approved by the FDA in 1994.
Patients who believe their Zimmer NexGen knee replacement has failed can ask for a bone scan, which will identify signs that the device is loose (an x-ray will not show such signs). Despite reported problems with the NexGen knee replacement device, no recall has been announced.