Forty patients who received faulty hip implants have told the High Court in Wellington they should be able to sue the maker of the devices.
Lawyers for the patients told the court that this country's Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) scheme did not prevent them suing.
The patients are seeking compensation from the implant maker, De Puy, for bodily injury, including metal poisoning.
Their lawyer, David Goddard QC, said Du Puy ought to have known the devices were defective and should have removed them from the market.
He said the company did not contribute to the ACC's social contract and patients should be able to sue the UK-based firm for compensatory damages.
The maker of the implant device has told the High Court it cannot be sued under the no-fault ACC law.