Knee Replacement Lawsuit Update
Knee Replacement Lawsuit Funding & Update
More than 700,000 people in the U.S. experience knee pain yearly and many of them choose to have a knee replacement. Unfortunately, some people have been the recipients of defective knee implants, most of which are metal-on-metal, and the consequences have been brutal. As a result, knee replacement lawsuits have been filed against DePuy, Zimmer, Smith & Nephew and other knee implant manufacturers alleging patients were harmed by devices that were defectively designed.
Artificial joints are generally expected to last a minimum of 15 years, but some fail much sooner. Many knee implant devices have been recalled due to a high rate of complications, ranging from infection and trauma to loosening or poor implant positioning.
Defective knee implants have been a cause of concern for medical professionals and patients alike. Side effects include pain in the knee, swelling at or near the knee joint, decreased mobility and a change in ability to walk. The most serious consequence of implant failure is painful and costly revision surgery, which is more complicated than the initial knee replacement and recovery time is typically much longer.
DePuy Knee Replacement Problems
Since the Depuy recall in 2005, thousands of patients have filed a knee replacement lawsuit, claiming their knee is defective.
From 2003 until 2013, DePuy recalled 277 devices or components, four of which were Class I recalls, or products with flaws that could seriously harm patients, according to Consumers Union. Since 2013, the FDA’s database shows that DePuy has issued at least seven recalls of knee implant-related components or surgical tools.
DePuy designed the Synthes Attune knee implant with a goal of improving clinical outcomes, reducing recovery time, and allowing knee implant recipients to return to their normal activities sooner than anticipated. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Knee Surgery (September 18, 2017), the DePuy Attune knee is experiencing an “unusually high” rate of early failure related to its tibial components. Some patients report that it is failing only a year or two after implant. The DePuy Attune, like so many other metal-on-metal hip and knee replacements, can become worse than the actual knee it replaced.
In 2015, DePuy Synthes orthopaedic sales in the U.S. were up 3.5 percent to $5.3 billion. Knee replacement sales made up more than a quarter of that amount, with a total of $1.4 billion.
DePuy Knee Lawsuit
In September, 2017 a lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama alleging premature failure of the DePuy Synthes’ Attune Knee System. Attorneys are currently investigating claims on behalf of patients who were implanted with DePuy Orthopaedic’s knee Limb Preservation System (LPS), which is used in patients who have suffered severe soft tissue damage and bone defects as a result of trauma, infection, tumors or multiple joint replacements.
Smith & Nephew Knee Problems
Claims against Smith & Nephew state early failure and failure at an unacceptable failure rates of its knee replacement devices.
The medical device manufacturer has issued several recalls for its knee replacements. In 2003, the Oxinium Pro-Fix II and the Oxinium Genesis II were recalled after reports that the “cementless” knee replacements failed to bond properly. This failure reportedly resulted in infection, joint damage and muscle damage. In 2010, Smith & Nephew recalled its Journey-Deuce Uni Tibial Baseplates, which rest on the tibia and attaches to the knee replacement hardware on the femur. Because these baseplates are breaking, the entire knee replacement can become compromised and unstable. The Class II recall affected approximately 40,000 Journey II knee implants.
In early 2014 the Australian Government’s Department of Health issued a safety alert after the Journey BCS knee replacement “hazard alert” was announced by Smith & Nephew.
Smith & Nephew Lawsuits
In 2015 an Illinois woman filed a product liability lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Smith & Nephew, alleging her knee replacement is “defective and unreasonably dangerous,” according to court documents. The complaint notes that the Genesis II device was approved through a 510(k) exemption, in which a manufacturer need only show that a device is substantially equivalent to a legally marketed one. Francine Snead says in her lawsuit that due her knee being defective and in addition to other damages, she incurred medical expenses, experienced severe pain and suffering, and has been forced to undergo a lengthy and protracted rehabilitation process.
Lawyers assert that Smith & Nephew may have failed to take adequate steps to properly research their product, reduce the risk of injury or warn consumers. As a result, financial compensation may be available for Smith & Nephew Journey knee recipients whose complications were caused by a broken tibial base plate or other defective components.
Zimmer Biomet Replacement Problems
More than half a million people in the US alone have had Zimmer knee implants. However, the Zimmer NexGen has been named in complaints of high failure rates and complications. In 2010 several NexGen components were recalled after it was determined they were manufactured with defects or packaged with inadequate surgical instructions.
That year Zimmer put aside a settlement fund of approximately $145 million.
Since 2013, Zimmer has recalled more than 50 knee implant-related tools and component, some involving thousands of units. In 2015, Zimmer recalled all lots and sizes of a component of its Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate knee implant and in 2017, following the merger of Zimmer and Biomet its Vanguard Total Knee System was recalled because of mislabeling and packaging problems.
On its website, Zimmer Biomet claims to have “redefined knee arthroplasty” with its Persona Knee but in less than three years on the market, about 11,700 knee implants were recalled after reports of loosening, severe pain and the need for early revision surgery.
The Illinois federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation over Zimmer Inc.’s NexGen knee implants has told the parties she wants to see the six-year-old litigation wrap up by the end of 2018 and she instructed them to “engage in serious settlement talks,” according to court documents. The Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), which has included more than 1,700 cases, is In re: Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:11-cv-05468, MDL number 2272, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
A Pennsylvania state appeals court in December 2017 upheld a lower court’s award of nearly $16 million in damages against Zimmer Biomet in a knee implant lawsuit. Margo Polett claimed that she re-injured her knees while making a Zimmer promotional video, after a double knee replacement procedure in 2006 using the company’s Gender Solutions device.
What you should Do
If you are experiencing pain from your knee replacement, ask your doctor for a bone scan. To preserve your potential claim, attorneys recommend this diagnostic test (rather than a general x-ray) to confirm that your replacement knee is loose. If you require revision surgery, tell your doctors to keep the implant intact and unchanged, and take pictures whenever possible. Be sure to ask well in advance of your surgery.
Knee Replacement Lawsuit Funding
Knee implant patients who received knee replacement devices and suffered complications may be able to demand compensation and accountability from medical device manufacturers. If your knee implant has been recalled, the probability of a defect is highly likely. Pravatilegalfunding for you knee replacement lawsuit funding.