Zimmer loses bid to deny bellwether case in NextGen knee implant lawsuits

Zimmer Holdings

Zimmer (NYSE:ZMH) lost a bid to bar 1 of the 849 pending personal injury lawsuits filed over its recalled NextGen knee implant from becoming a bellwether case for the multidistrict litigation over the device.

Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer of the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois ruled against the Warsaw, Ind.-based medical device company, writing that Blake v. Zimmer et al can remain in the pool of possible bellwether cases for the MDL.

Zimmer argued that the plaintiff, Norma Blake, failed to deliver medical records authorizations in time to meet a court-mandated deadline, according to court documents.

"Blake is not eligible for case pool treatment. Mrs. Blake failed timely to provide medical records authorizations for any physician or provider by the Oct. 29, 2012, deadline," according to the documents. "Mrs. Blake provided a medical authorization to the defendants for the first time on Nov. 9, 2012. As such, Blake was not among the hundreds of cases eligible for consideration as case pool selections."

Blake was implanted with a NextGen device in May 2008, but soon experienced "chronic pain, discomfort and loosening of the device," according to the documents. Her physician recommended a revision surgery to replace the device, but Blake had not had that procedure as of the filing of her complaint in March 2012.

Zimmer recalled the NextGen device in May and June of last year, after receiving reports of problems with the implant dating back to 2008.

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