Accepting Cases

Knee Replacement Lawsuits

People who have filed knee replacement lawsuits claim that the devices loosened, became unstable and required surgery to correct their problems. One knee implant manufacturer paid $1 billion to settle 4,000 lawsuits filed over its faulty devices.

Complications after a Knee Replacement?

Did you or a loved one suffer complications after receiving a knee replacement? You may be eligible for compensation.

DePuy Attune Knee
Knee Replacement Lawsuit Facts
  1. Injuries Loosening, pain, bone or device fractures, infection, need for revision surgery
  2. Manufacturers DePuy Synthes, Zimmer Biomet, Arthrex, Exactech, B. Braun
  3. Top Settlement $1 billion to settle 4,000 lawsuits against Sulzer Medica (now part of Zimmer Biomet)
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*Update: Drugwatch’s legal partners are accepting Depuy Attune knee cases. DePuy Attune knee replacement lawsuits are still in the early stages. Hundreds more Attune knee lawsuits are possible. Zimmer NexGen knee replacement lawsuits are in the final settlement stages. In February 2018, Zimmer Biomet agreed to settle about 300 NexGen lawsuits.

Thousands of people have filed knee replacement lawsuits in recent years. Knee replacement lawsuits accuse device manufacturers of selling faulty implants.

People with DePuy Attune knee replacements reported loosening problems with the devices. A study found cement may fail to bond the implant to bone.

Radiography of a knee showing a loosening of the prosthesis
Knee replacement lawsuits blame manufacturers for loosening of the prosthesis. Source: Diagnostic Pathology

Attorneys in Alabama filed the first DePuy Attune knee replacement lawsuit in September 2017. A steady stream of filings around the country followed.

Lawyers estimate hundreds of patients may file DePuy knee replacement lawsuits in 2018. If that happens, lawyers may ask to combine the suits into a multidistrict litigation, or MDL. MDLs help several similar lawsuits move more quickly through the legal process.

The Zimmer NexGen Knee MDL was the only active knee replacement MDL as of June 2018. The Zimmer MDL once involved more than 1,700 individual lawsuits. The court dismissed most of them.

Zimmer Biomet agreed to a NexGen lawsuit settlement in February 2018. It affects all remaining Zimmer knee replacement lawsuits.

The NexGen knee settlement amount is confidential. More than 280 NexGen knee lawsuits remained pending as of June 2018.

2018 Knee Replacement Lawsuit Settlement
Zimmer Biomet agreed to settle all remaining NexGen knee replacement lawsuits in February 2018.
Source: MDL 2272, Case Management Order 13

People have also claimed injuries from other models of knee replacements. These include B. Braun and Stryker knee replacement lawsuits.

Why People File Knee Replacement Lawsuits

People filed lawsuits over the DePuy Attune and Zimmer NexGen knees due to loosening. The devices failed to attach to patients’ bones.

Attune knee replacements may have unusually high failure rates. A 2017 study found that two in 15 Attune knees suffered loosening.

Why people are suing over the DePuy Attune knee replacement:
Tibial loosening
Cement failed to bond the implant’s base plate to the patient’s tibia bone (one of the bones in the lower leg).
Why people sued over the Zimmer NexGen knee implant:
Loosening
Zimmer recalled 68,000 NexGen Knee components in 2010. It recalled another 40,000 in 2014. Lawsuits claimed defective parts caused loosening.

Loosening makes knee replacements unstable. Patients must have revision knee surgery to repair the faulty knee implant. Revision surgery presents added surgical risks, hospital bills and lost wages. People sue to recover these costs.

Did you or a loved one experience loosening after receiving a faulty knee implant? Get a Free Case Review

Filing a Knee Replacement Lawsuit

Filing a knee replacement lawsuit can be a complicated process. There are several things to consider before filing.

  • The first step is to identify your injury.
    You or an immediate family member must have suffered a knee replacement injury to file a knee replacement lawsuit. Injuries tend to be serious enough to require revision surgery.
  • A knee replacement recall is not necessary to file a lawsuit.
    Injuries can happen even if there is no recall for the knee implant. Many knee implants remain on the market even after people file hundreds of lawsuits.
  • The law limits the amount of time you have to file a claim.
    Each state has different statutes of limitation. It’s important to talk to an attorney about when and where the injury happened.
  • It’s a good idea to consult an experienced medical device lawyer.
    Knee replacement injuries have already resulted in thousands of lawsuits. Qualified device attorneys are familiar with device manufacturers’ legal strategies. They also understand issues that are common in these types of claims. Every situation is different. But a qualified device lawyer can help explain all the legal options.
  • Free consultations are available.
    Most knee replacement lawyers offer free consultations. These help you determine if you have a legal claim. But be sure to ask about fees before hiring any lawyer. Usually, these attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means they do not get paid unless they win the case or get a knee replacement settlement.

Accusations Against Knee Replacement Manufacturers

Knee replacement lawsuits usually claim that the product was defective. They also claim that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the risks, but the maker failed to warn patients.

Typical Knee Replacement Lawsuit Claims Against Manufacturers
  • The manufacturer marketed the knee implant as safe and effective when it was not
  • The device’s defects were because of the design, manufacture or marketing of the implant
  • The manufacturer knew or should have known about the defects
  • The manufacturer failed to warn patients of the defect and its potential consequences

Knee Replacement Manufacturers Being Sued

Most of the recent knee replacement lawsuits name DePuy and Zimmer. But other knee replacement makers face lawsuits, too.

Knee Replacement Manufacturers and Models Named in Lawsuits
Manufacturer Model Name Why People Are Suing
Arthrex iBalance Knee Pain and instability
B. Braun Advanced Surface ceramic coated knees Loosening due to cement failure
DePuy Attune Knee System Loosening and instability
Exactech Optetrack Knee Excessive wear and premature failure
Zimmer Biomet NexGen

Persona
Premature loosening

Loosening due to defective screws
Stryker Duracon Unicompartmental Knee System Pain, instability, restricted motion

Previous Knee Replacement Lawsuit Settlements and Verdicts

There are no publicly announced Attune knee replacement settlements. No Attune knee lawsuits have gone to trial, so there are no verdicts yet.

Knee Replacement Settlement Payouts
Settlement amounts in the Sulzer Medica case averaged $200,000 per patient.

One of the largest knee replacement settlement amounts was a $1 billion payment in 2002. Sulzer Medica agreed to pay $1 billion to settle roughly 4,000 lawsuits over its hip and knee implants.

In February 2018, Zimmer announced a settlement in the remaining NexGen knee lawsuits. The exact amount of the NexGen knee replacement settlement is unknown. The company and the patients who sued agreed to keep the amount confidential.

Average settlements for faulty knee replacements can vary.

Knee Replacement Class Action Lawsuits

There are no knee replacement class action lawsuits. Class actions are not always well suited for medical device lawsuits.

Usually, people will file individual lawsuits against a manufacturer over a knee implant. Many times people will sue the same company for similar problems. Courts will sometimes combine those similar cases. A federal panel sometimes creates multidistrict litigations to handle these cases.

Did you or a loved one experience implant failure? Get a Free Case Review

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.

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24 Cited Research Articles

  1. Bonutti, P.M. et al. (2017, June 7). Unusually High Rate of Early Failure of Tibial Component in Attune Total Knee Arthroplasty System at Implant-Cement Interface. Retrieved from https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0037-1603756
  2. Lexis Legal News. (2015, November 11). 1st NexGen Knee Bellwether Trial Ends in Defense Verdict For Defendant Zimmer Inc. Retrieved from http://www.lexislegalnews.com/articles/3884/1st-nexgen-knee-bellwether-trial-ends-in-defense-verdict-for-defendant-zimmer-inc
  3. Corso, J. (2017, March 16). Another Bellwether Drops out of Zimmer Knee Implant MDL. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/902900?scroll=1
  4. Jones, D.N. (2017, January 26). Zimmer Gets Win in 3rd Knee Implant Bellwether. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/885190/zimmer-gets-win-in-3rd-knee-implant-bellwether
  5. Fair, M. (2016, June 6). Zimmer Gets $20M Knee Injury Verdict Trashed in Pa. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/804139/zimmer-gets-20m-knee-injury-verdict-trashed-in-pa
  6. Bodine, L. (2017, January 6). Judge Admits Causation Expert in Zimmer knee Replacement MDL. Retrieved from https://www.masstortnexus.com/mass-torts-news/judge-admits-causation-expert-in-zimmer-knee-replacement-mdl/
  7. U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois. (n.d.). MDL 2272 In Re Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation. Retrieved from http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/mdl-details.aspx?WNesDQBcWakSF/4TSCIYmQ==
  8. PR Newswire. (2017, September 18). First U.S. Lawsuit Filed Against DePuy-Synthes for Attune Knee Replacement Failure. Orthopedic Design & Technology. Retrieved from https://www.odtmag.com/contents/view_breaking-news/2017-09-18/first-us-lawsuit-filed-against-depuy-synthes-for-attune-knee-replacement-failure/
  9. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2015, June 26) OtisMed Corporation former CEO sentenced for shipping adulterated knee replacement cutting guides. Retrieved from https://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170112222748/http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm452987.htm
  10. Meier, B. (2010, June 19). Surgeon vs. Knee Maker: Who’s Rejecting Whom? The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/business/20knee.html
  11. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2012, October 1). Order Vacating Conditional Transfer Order. In Re Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2272. Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2272-Order_Vacating_CTO-09-12.pdf
  12. Meier, B. (2011, December 22). New Models of Implants Not Better, Study Finds. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/health/research/new-models-of-hip-and-knee-implants-not-better-study-finds.html
  13. Duroni, L. (2015, April 14). Smith & Nephew Sued Over Failed Knee Replacement. Retrieved https://www.law360.com/articles/643110/smith-nephew-sued-over-failed-knee-replacement
  14. U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette). (2012) Civil Docket for Case # 6:12-cv-00761-RFD-PJH. Henry Bias V. Smith & Nephew. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  15. U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. (2014, July 1). Manuel A. Sanchez V. Johnson & Johnson Service Inc., Johnson & Johnson Incorporated, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc.; DePuy Orthopedics, Inc., and Doe Defendants 1-100. Complaint. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  16. U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. (2015, November 9). Manuel A. Sanchez V. Johnson & Johnson Service Inc., Johnson & Johnson Incorporated, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc.; DePuy Orthopedics, Inc., and Doe Defendants 1-100. Stipulation For Dismissal with Prejudice of All Claims and Parties. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  17. U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois. (2017, May 8). MDL 2272 In Re Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation. Case Number 1:11-cv-05468. Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Suggestion of Remand. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  18. U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois. (2017, May 23). MDL 2272 In Re Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation. Case Number 1:11-cv-05468. Notification of Docket Entry. Minutes. Retrieved from http://www.pacer.gov
  19. Dye, J. (2015, November 6). Zimmer wins first U.S. trial over NexGen Flex knee devices. Retrieved http://www.reuters.com/article/zimmer-biomet-nexgen-idUSL1N1312VM20151106
  20. Trader, S. (2016, October 24). Zimmer Gets Quick Win In 2nd Knee Implant Defect Bellwether. Retrieved https://www.law360.com/articles/854476/zimmer-gets-quick-win-in-2nd-knee-implant-defect-bellwether
  21. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division. (2018, February 12). In re: Zimmer NexGen Knee Implant Products Liability Litigation. Case Management Order No. 13. Retrieved from https://jc6kx1c9izw3wansr3nmip8k-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018-02-12-Order-1.pdf
  22. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2009, July 7). Class 2 Device Recall Duracon Total Knee System Tibial Components. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfres/res.cfm?id=74712
  23. New York Times. (2002, February 2). Company News; Sulzer Mdeica Pays to Settle U.S. Claims over Implants. Bloomberg News. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/02/business/company-news-sulzer-medica-pays-to-settle-us-claims-over-implants.html
  24. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2018, June 15). MDL Statistics Report - Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_District-June-15-2018.pdf
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