NexGen knees marketed by Cyberdyne Systems, umm, I mean 'Zimmer medical products company of Northern Indiana.' (Photo: Zimmer)
Alex Nussbaum and David Voreacos of Bloomberg report that Zimmer, the world’s largest maker of knee and hip implants, is suing lawyers who sue them. And their offensive against plaintiffs’ lawyers is headed into the blogosphere.
After lawyer/blogger Brett Emison wrote a blog post about failures of Zimmer’s NexGen knees, he got a letter from Zimmer attorneys demanding he stop what they termed “alarmist fear mongering.”
Emison called Zimmer’s conduct “a blatant attempt to try to frighten plaintiffs’ lawyers from pursuing these cases.”
I myself don’t need to get a warning letter to be frightened. Look at that promotional picture of Zimmer’s technologically advanced knees. Don’t tell me those won’t be useful to the machines after Skynet takes over. Everyone knows that the only thing humanity has going for it in a war against robots is that robots are generally slow and lumbering. If you stick knees like those in terminator-series cyborgs, they’ll be able to jog effortlessly all over the post-apocalyptic landscape picking off humans at will.
Well, with Zimmer raking in $1.8 billion in annual artificial-knee revenues, its not surprising they would be somewhat, shall we say, inflexible when it comes to assaults on their safety record. And Zimmer’s legal gambit appears to be working. Bloomberg reports that Zimmer has settled four of its law-firm lawsuits on terms requiring retractions.
Law professor and dean of Roger Williams Law School David Logan says in the story that recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have given lawyers the freedom to say anything not “provably false or misleading.” That, in turn, has “opened up a new front in the product-liability wars” with corporate defendants suing lawyers as they go searching for clients.
With “blawgs” already constituting a leading means of lawyer rainmaking, we may see Zimmer-type offensives become more and more important in shaping the legal context of law-blogging. Of course, on “Blog Law Blog,” I can only blog so much about the law of law blogging. To provide in-depth commentary in this arena, I will soon be launching my new blog, Law Blog Blog Law Law Blog.
Or, on the other hand, maybe I’ll skip that.