On August 8, 2011, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) announced a new MDL would be created for all of the Zimmer NexGen high-flex knee implant cases that have been filed in the federal court system. At the time the petition was filed with the JPML requesting that multi-district litigation proceedings be established, there were 28 pending lawsuits, from 13 different district courts. Currently, there are believed to be nearly 100 lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who have suffered damages as a result of defects with the knee implants.
These mass torts proceedings (MDL No. 2272) will be overseen by Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer in the District Court for Northern District of Illinois, which is based in Chicago. This was one of the venues requested by the Plaintiffs. Zimmer had recommended the district court where it is headquartered in northern Indiana. It is anticipated that the first status conference before the judge and the first orders organizing the litigation will be issued in September.
Zimmer was founded in 1927 and is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of a number of different orthopedic surgical products and implants. This litigation will focus on Zimmer’s popular NexGen knee line of implants and components, including:
- NexGen CR-Flex
- NexGen LPS-Flex
- NexGen High Flex
- NexGen LPS
- NexGen MIS
Zimmer’s sales of the NexGen artificial knee product line were approximately $1.76 billion in 2009. Concerns about the Zimmer NexGen CR-Flex Porous knee implant products first arose after the New York Times published information from studies conducted by Dr. Richard Berger and Dr. Craig Della Valle in June of 2010 as well as other studies. There have also been concerns about the increased failure rate of these products based upon femoral component failure data that has been published as a part of the Australian Joint Data Registry.
My law firm represents a number of plaintiffs who have suffered premature device failure due to aseptic (non-infectious) loosening and metallosis as a result of their implantation with Zimmer NexGen knee products as well as a number of other metal-on-metal hip and knee implant cases.