Plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation involving alleged defects with Zimmer knee implants asked an Illinois federal judge to select the case of a Philadelphia woman to serve as the first bellwether trial, claiming that the woman’s age, gender and implant type best represent plaintiffs’ issues with the implants.
Ramona Diano, 72, had Zimmer LPS Flex Gender femoral components implanted in both knees. Both implants failed.
Plaintiffs say that Diano is in the most common age group and gender for the procedure, and her case has the least individual issues among the other cases previously identified as possible bellwethers. Dinao’s lawsuit also alleges false marketing, claiming advertisements for the gender-specific type of femoral component swayed her decision to choose the Zimmer implant.
Zimmer, however, has argued that a so-called “average” plaintiff should be identified based on the company’s own internal statistics. The plaintiffs countered, saying there is no such thing as an “average” plaintiff because each plaintiff has his or her own issues. They also contend that Diano fits Zimmer’s “average plaintiff” model since the cemented femoral and tibial components she was implanted with cover the issues in more than 80 percent of the multidistrict litigation.
Diano had researched knee implant surgery before selecting her surgeon and the implant. She also had some other health issues. She was also the sole caregiver of her disabled husband. Diano underwent knee replacement surgery in 2008 and followed up with rehab. But a year later she lost range of motion in her left knee. Her doctor replaced the tibial component in that knee. But a few months later she began experiencing similar problems with her right knee. In 2010, her doctor noted that the tibial component was “grossly loose” and replaced the implant.
Plaintiffs claim that Zimmer advertised its NexGen components were more flexible than components made by other manufacturers. But this, plaintiffs claim, caused greater stress on the implants and required many patients to undergo revision surgery to remove and replace the device.
Source: Law 360