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Zimmer NexGen Knee Lawsuit Filed in California

A new Zimmer knee revision surgery lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles on January 6, 2014. The plaintiff, Justeen Widoff, contends that the defendant should be held liable for designing and manufacturing an allegedly defective product, the NexGen Complete Knee Solution System. She claims significant and ongoing physical injuries as a result, and demands compensatory damages in excess of $25,000.

Plaintiff alleges ongoing physical complications

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff underwent a total right knee replacement surgery. Although her specific medical condition at the time is unknown, this type of surgery is commonly performed in cases of severe arthritic damage or trauma to the knee. Usually, doctors recommend the surgery when the patient’s pain and limited mobility have not been improved by conservative treatment measures, such as physical therapy and medication. During a total knee replacement, the surgeon removes the damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial prosthesis.

In the case of Widoff, the surgeon replaced the knee with a metal-on-metal knee implant, known as the NexGen system. She had the surgery on January 6, 2012. However, just prior to November 2013, it was discovered that the knee implant had failed, leaving the plaintiff in considerable pain. Her disability necessitated a revision surgery, which she had in November 2013.

The plaintiff demands compensatory damages for her pain, disability, and emotional distress. In her complaint, she calls attention to the considerable medical costs and healthcare services she has required and is expected to continue to need in the future.

Lawsuit lists multiple allegations against Zimmer

According to the plaintiff’s Zimmer knee lawsuit, the NexGen system is defective in design and manufacture. The lawsuit alleges that the product components failed, despite the product being used in a reasonable manner and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Widoff claims the system was manufactured in such a way as to become contaminated. She contends the defendants should be held liable because they allegedly knew of the defects and risks of the system prior to January 2012.

Despite this prior knowledge, the defendants failed to issue adequate warnings to the plaintiff and her healthcare professionals, according to the lawsuit. Widoff states that had she been informed of the risks, she never would have consented to have that particular Zimmer knee implant.

Zimmer faces hundreds of similar complaints

Widoff is hardly alone in her allegations. In fact, Zimmer is facing hundreds of revision surgery lawsuits from patients who claim the NexGen system and other knee implant models are defective in design, and that the company did not warn them of the risks. Many plaintiffs point to the metal-on-metal design as being particularly prone to health risks. As the patient manipulates the joint, the metal components rub together. This friction releases metal ions into the bloodstream, which causes heavy metal poisoning, also known as metallosis. Additionally, the metallic debris can cause localized tissue damage.

  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Total Knee Replacement,

  2. U.S. JPML, Conditional Transfer Order,