Orthopedics This Week | February 14, 2017 - Page 20


Zimmer Biomet Wins 3rd NexGen Trial

Zimmer Biomet Holdings , Inc . has had a multi-district litigation ( MDL ) case over its NexGen Flex knee implant for some time . At least 5,900 product liability lawsuits have been consolidated into that MDL under U . S . District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in Northern Illinois .

But on January 26 , 2017 , as reported by MassDevice , the company won its third bellwether trial under that litigation when a federal jury in Illinois found against Beverly Goldin , the first of thousands of plaintiffs who brought the lawsuits .
The implant was designed to provide more flexibility than other knee replacement implants . The FDA gave the company marketing clearance in 2007 .
Here are the claims made by company on its website :
“ The Zimmer Biomet NexGen LPS- Flex Knee is a posterior stabilized , cemented knee prosthesis that extends the NexGen Complete Knee Solution to patients capable of up to 155 degrees of active flexion . Designed to accommodate resumption of high flexion daily activities , the Legacy ® Posterior Stabilized
( LPS ) -Flex fixed bearing knee offers surgeons the freedom to select the best component combination for any given patient , based on preoperative and intraoperative assessment .”
Goldin , according to the MassDevice story , claimed the device couldn ’ t withstand the extra flexion claimed by the company . She and others in the MDL group allege that a design flaw makes the device more prone to premature loosening requiring revision procedures .
The company denies the allegation and says the device has a successful track record .
Judge Pallmeyer and two juries have agreed with the company .
“ Judgment is entered in favor of defendant Zimmer Inc ., and against plaintiff Beverly Jemma Goldin ,” according to court documents filed in the most recent trial .
Last fall , the company won the second bellwether trial when Pallmeyer found
NexGen Flex Knee Implant / Courtesy of Zimmer Biomet Holdings , Inc .
that the plaintiff failed to prove that a design defect caused the implant to fail .
In November 2015 , the jury in the first bellwether trial also cleared the company , finding that the plaintiff failed to prove defective design and failure to warn claims . In that case , after a month-long trial in Chicago , attorneys for Zimmer argued that the plaintiff did not have enough evidence to prove the implants failed due to a design defect .
Instead , they said the patient was partly responsible because she returned to work and performed too much physical activity too soon after surgery . They also said her surgeon inadequately secured the implant .
The outcome of a bellwether trial is not binding on other cases in the litigation . But they are useful for determining how a jury will respond to evidence . If the jury awards damages , it can also help expedite a settlement or other resolution for other cases involving similar injuries . — WE
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