Hip and knee replacements are major operations in the United States. It is estimated that more than one million people in the U.S. receive these replacements each year. As technology improves, new innovations continue to surface. Manufacturers are designing knee replacement devices to suit younger and more mobile patients.
While these operations can change lives, they can also create a number of debilitating side effects. In many cases, the FDA has approved devices without carefully examining long-term results. Programs such as the 510(k) Premarket Notification process allow devices to be approved without detailed clinical testing results.
Knee replacement lawsuits are being filed by thousands of patients who have been harmed by their knee replacement devices. Knee replacement lawsuits have been filed over devices such as Zimmer’s Natural Knee and NexGen systems, Smith & Nephew’s OXINIUM system, and Stryker’s Scorpio system.
Knee Replacement Lawsuit Complications
Knee replacement lawsuits are being filed due to a number of complications. Some of these complications lead to overall failure of the knee replacement device. In a number of cases, patients are forced to undergo revision surgery to fix problems created by the knee replacement.
Revision surgery is a second surgery during which the knee replacement may be corrected or replaced entirely. Revision surgery is often more difficult to perform than the original surgery. Additionally, patients may experience longer recovery times in addition to added physical and financial stress.
Complications leading to knee replacement lawsuits may include:
- Severe pain
- Infection, inflammation, or swelling of the knee
- Damage to the joint, bone, muscle, or nerves
- Loosening of the knee replacement device
- Popping, clicking, or crunching noises
- Mobility issues such as standing or walking
Zimmer Knee Replacement Lawsuits
Zimmer currently faces more than 700 lawsuits for its NexGen knee replacement system. Federal cases filed against Zimmer were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). An MDL is used to streamline the pretrial process for a number of similar cases. The Zimmer MDL was transferred to the U.S. District Court’s Northern District of Illinois. After the pretrial phase is complete, each case will be returned to its respective district.
Filing a Knee Replacement Lawsuit
Patients who have sustained harm from their devices are filing knee replacement lawsuits in both federal and state courts nationwide. These patients may be eligible to receive financial compensation from their knee replacement manufacturers. Financial compensation may help harmed patients with medical bills and lost wages, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering they’ve endured. Additionally, punitive damages may be rewarded. The purpose of punitive damages is to discourage similar behavior on the part of manufacturers.
Benefits of Knee Replacement Lawsuits
Litigation such as knee replacement lawsuits are important for warning consumers, the FDA , and manufacturing companies of the harm caused by certain devices. In many cases, the FDA and manufacturing companies can respond slowly to inquiries that may indicate that a drug or device should be recalled. Knee replacement lawsuits help to clearly define product defects and indicate whether or not a defective product or drug can cause severe harm to a large number of people.
Tips for Filing a Knee Replacement Lawsuit
It is important for patients to file their knee replacement lawsuit as soon as possible. The law sets time windows on when a patient is eligible to file a knee replacement lawsuit. If too much time passes, the patient may lose the ability to file a knee replacement lawsuit and receive financial compensation.
It is also important to note that patients may receive more financial compensation for their injuries if they do not participate in a manufacturer recall. By participating in a recall, the patient may be waiving the right to file a knee replacement lawsuit. Before participating in a recall, patients should consult a qualified attorney.