Jon Campisi Feb. 28, 2014, 6:39am


One of the defendants named in a products liability case stemming from an

unsuccessful knee replacement surgery has filed a petition in U.S. District Court seeking removal of the case.

Kelly Banaszewski and her husband, Joseph, are suing Massachusetts-based Smith & Nephew Inc. and Michigan-based Stryker Corp. over a failed surgical procedure Kelly Banaszewski blames on faulty medical products.

The complaint, which was originally filed in January at the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas by Scranton, Pa. attorney Amil M. Minora, is grounded in a total knee replacement surgery Kelly Banaszewski underwent at Paoli Hospital in Chester County in early January 2012.

The woman’s surgeon used a total knee replacement manufactured by Smith and Nephew and bone cement made by Stryker Corp., the record shows.

While undergoing outpatient physical therapy following her surgery, Kelly discovered a hard lump in her knee, which was followed by extreme pain on the inside of her leg, the complaint states.

She also felt her new knee moving under her skin while performing some of her exercises.

During a follow-up arthroscopic surgery, the doctor was able to determine that the right patella, or kneecap, implant had come loose from its pegs, which were supposed to be held together by the bone cement made by Stryker.

The doctor then had to abandon the arthroscopic surgery and instead perform an arthrotomy, where the patella was replaced using a revision patella component made by Biomet, who is not a party to the litigation.

As a result of the ordeal, Kelly developed dense scar tissue that caused her to experience severe pain and led to highly restricted range of motion, the complaint alleges.

In mid-March of last year, Kelly underwent a right total knee prosthesis procedure during which doctors also removed the dense scar tissue, the record shows.

Then, in late July of last year, the plaintiff underwent an arthroscopic lysis of adhesions of her right knee, the lawsuit states.

As a result of the defendants’ actions, the suit states, Kelly has been totally and permanently disabled from her employment at Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. and she has experienced a permanent restriction on her range of motion, which prevents her from walking normally.

The suit contains counts of breach of warranty, strict liability and loss of consortium.

In their suit, the plaintiffs say they are seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

In the defense removal petition, Reed Smith attorney Michael T. Scott wrote that his client, Smith & Nephew, contends that the litigation should play out in federal court, not Common Pleas Court, because there is complete diversity of citizenship among the parties and the amount in controversy actually appears to be in excess of $75,000.

“Given the nature and extent of Plaintiffs’ alleged injuries and damages, Plaintiffs’ Complaint places at issue more than $75,000, exclusive of interests and costs,” Scott wrote.

The federal case number is 2:14-cv-01155-MSG.

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