Nevadans injured by failing Attune Knee implants may be able to join hundreds of other victims throughout the U.S. in suing the manufacturer DePuy for negligence. This device has an abnormally high rate of malfunctioning, causing many patients to require revision surgery after only two years.
Victims in a personal injury lawsuit may be able to recover extensive compensatory damages for:
- hospital bills and long-term care,
- lost earnings,
- loss of future earnings,
- pain and suffering, and/or
- wrongful death
Depending on the case, it may be feasible to win punitive damages as well. Victims have two (2) years after the injury occurs to commence a negligence lawsuit.
In this article, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about Nevada Attune Knee implant lawsuits, including negligence claims, standards of proof, and statutes of limitations. Click on a topic to jump to that section:
- 1. What can I do if I got injured by an Attune Knee implant in Las Vegas, NV?
- 2. What money can I get?
- 3. Whom can I sue?
- 4. How do I prove my claim?
- 5. When can I sue?
- 6. Should I file my lawsuit in Nevada or join a federal class action?
- 7. What are Attune Knee implants used for?
- 8. Have Attune Knee implants been recalled?
- 9. Resources
- 10. Related “mass tort” device litigation in Nevada
Patients whose knee implants fail may sue the device manufacturer for negligence. If the case goes to trial, the plaintiff needs to prove four things in order to win:
- The defendant(s) owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant(s) breached this duty;
- This breach caused the plaintiff’s injury; and
- This injury resulted in damages.1
The victim would allege that DePuy defectively designed the knee device because its smooth surface keeps the surgical glue from properly adhering to the bone. This defect may cause the knee implant fo fail after two (2) years instead of the usual dozen or more years.2
1.1. Attune Knee implant Injuries
Complications from failing knee replacement surgery may include:
- bone loss
- blood clots
- chronic pain
- nerve damage
- limited range of motion and mobility
- revision surgery and rehabilitation
One reason for these injuries could stem from the device’s debonding of tibial implant–cement interface. In short, an adhesion failure.3
If the case goes to trial, victims would seek compensatory damages for:
- All medical bills, including the cost of rehab
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages, and/or
- Loss of future earnings
But the largest financial awards usually come from punitive damages, meant to punish DePuy.
Note that most medical device cases settle outside of court.
The Attune implant’s manufacturer, DePuy Synthes.
If the case goes to trial, the plaintiff has to show the court that it is more likely than not (“by a preponderance of the evidence”) that DePuy was negligent. Evidence that would come into play includes:
- The plaintiff’s medical records showing how the device failed
- Expert medical testimony that the device stopped working at no fault of the plaintiff
- Statistics that demonstrate the device’s abnormally high failure rate.
For more, read our informational webpage on proving negligence in Nevada.
There is typically a two (2) year window following injury to sue. But no matter the timing, knee implant victims should seek legal counsel to explore their options.4
Class actions are not recommended. Instead, it is expected that Attune plaintiffs in Nevada will soon be able to join a multi-district litigation (MDL) against DePuy. MDLs are beneficial because they streamline the pretrial procedures, but the cases remain separate. And if no settlement agreement is reached, the cases can return to their original courts and proceed like a regular trial.
The most common bone operation in the U.S. is knee replacement (“knee arthroplasty”). Often people require it for age-related ailments including arthritis, which damages knee cartilage. But younger people with knee injuries or deformities may consider the surgery as well.
FDA-approved in 2011, Attune Knee devices should last for at least twelve years. The surgery involves up to five days in the hospital and up to a year of recovery.5
No. However, DePuy claimed back in 2010 that Attune Knee was “substantially equivalent” to the Zimmer Biomet NexGen CR Knee System. That device ended up being recalled in 2016 due to a high rate of failure.6
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- See, e.g. Scialabba v. Brandise Const. Co., 112 Nev. 965, 921 P.2d 928 (1996).
- First U.S. Lawsuit Filed Against DePuy-Synthes for Attune Knee Replacement Failure, ODT Magazine (September 18, 2017).
- NRS 11.190.
- Attune knee implant official site.
- FDA Summary.