When Product Liability Affects Your Knees

Knee replacements are supposed to mean a person can walk again. In this case, the replacements are failing.

Product liability law is designed to give consumers protection against defective products that harm them. While most people tend to think of defective cars, baby cribs, toys, grills, blinds and other items, not many people think about the possibility of a knee replacement implant failing. Unfortunately, this is what is happening with the Zimmer NexGen knee replacement implants.

It looks like a fair number of people across the US are getting ready to file lawsuits against the company citing product liability, failure to warn and negligence, thanks to knee replacement patients and their surgeons discovering the implants are defective. Being sued won’t be a first for this company, as they are also being taken to task for defective hip replacements – the Zimmer Durom Cups. Despite people insisting the knee implants be recalled, they are still on the market. However many surgeons are not recommending they be used for knee replacement surgery.

While the synthetic knee implant is a good idea, it apparently does not hold up under actual field conditions – meaning that once it is implanted it tends to become loose and cause excruciating pain, not to mention the possibility of another surgery to fix it. You might be able to see how this could possibly cause a whole slew of personal injury lawsuits, based on a defective product.

The technology is porous fiber metal with a cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy that caps the thigh bone where it connects to the tibia. No cement is used in this process. Since the implant’s introduction to the medical device market in 2003, it has consistently racked up high failure rates – up to 36% of the implants are loose after only two years. Over 150,000 of these devices have been sold in the US, making Zimmer a tidy profit of approximately $1.75 billion for 2009. The 36% failure rate means at least 54,000 people may have trouble with their “new” knees.

If this has happened to you, you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injuries. To find out if you do qualify, speak to an attorney with experience in handling products liability cases; a Sacramento personal injury attorney.

Deborah Barron is a Sacramento business lawyer, Sacramento employment lawyer, and Sacramento personal injury lawyer in California. To learn more, visit www.lawbarron.com.

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