Product liability lawsuit filed against maker of knee replacements

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 29, 2011, 2:10pm

MARSHALL - A Longview resident has filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of a knee replacement product that can loosen in patients and require replacement surgery.

Gerald Waterston filed suit against Zimmer Inc., Zimmer Holdings and Zimmer Orthopaedic Surgical Products Inc. on Aug. 23 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

In June 2008, Waterston had a knee replacement surgery in which a Zimmer NexGen Knee was implanted. He states that shortly after the surgery he began to experience severe and debilitating pain.

According to the suit, Waterston claims he was advised that implant was "loosening" and had a second surgery in September 2009 to replace the Zimmer NexGen Knee.

Mechanical loosening occurs when the attachment between the artificial knee and the bone becomes loose. A loose artificial knee can cause pain and wearing away of the bone.

The defendants are accused of misleading health care professionals and the public into believing that the Zimmer NexGen Knee was safe and effective for use in knee replacement surgery, engaging in deceptive, misleading and unconscionable promotional or sales methods to convince health care professionals to utilize the product even though they knew the product was unreasonable unsafe, failing to warn health care professionals and the public about the safety risks of the product.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include strict products liability, failure to warn, defective design, negligence, breach of express warranty and breach of implied warranty.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for medical expenses, lost income, disability, instability, loss of balance, pain and suffering, double or triple damages, punitive damages, attorney's fees, court costs and interest.

Waterston is represented by Melissa Richards Smith of Gillam Smith in Marshall and Michael K. Johnson, Timothy Becker and Stacy K. Hauer of Johnson Becker of Minneapolis, Minn.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00369

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