Our Defective Medical Device Lawyers Can Help You Get Compensation
Experienced Legal Assistance When You’ve Been Hurt
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died due to a defective medical device, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, defective product laws are complicated, and insurance companies will try to get you to accept as little as possible. Because of these challenges, it makes sense to get assistance from an attorney experienced in dealing with defective medical device lawsuits.
When your doctor installs a medical device to treat a health condition, you expect it to function correctly, help your condition improve, and make your life better. While this is usually the case, if something goes wrong due to a defective device, the result can be major injuries, pain and suffering, thousands of dollars in medical bills, and even death.
Our defective medical device lawyers at the National Injured Senior Law Center understand the suffering involved from these injuries and will fight for justice and the settlement or trial verdict you deserve. We know Maryland and Federal Laws, associate with lawyers who know the laws in other states and are fully prepared to handle all negotiations with insurance companies and the legal hurdles involved with getting you fair compensation, so you can concentrate on your recovery. If your case is meritorious and we cannot settle it, we may decide to file a lawsuit.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your case, and there are no fees to you unless and until we win a settlement or trial verdict. Call us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation at (410) 625-4878 to get started.
Should You File a Defective Medical Device Lawsuit?
A defective medical device lawsuit can pursue the parties responsible for the injuries that defective devices cause.
Dangerous or defective medical devices — such as faulty implants, meshes, pacemakers, prosthetics, and surgical instruments — can result in a product liability claim if a person who is injured or dies because of it. There are many reasons why defective medical devices cause harm, and there are many parties who can be responsible for the harm that results. Medical device defects can be due to manufacturing defects, design defects, improper labeling and improper warnings about how the device should be used and problems that may result. Even the marketing strategy that pushes defective products can influence your legal claim.
In some cases, the manufacturers of a product are at fault, either because they knew their products could potentially be harmful but didn’t do anything about it or deliberately withheld this information. In some cases, there might have been inadequate testing of a device or sales and marketing strategies that were less than honest. In other cases, the medical professionals involved with getting patients to use the device were negligent in not doing their research or in installing a device, and this caused harm.
Liability for a medical device’s defect could therefore rest with any party in the product’s chain of distribution from the time it was designed and manufactured to the time it was given to you, including:
- The product’s designer
- The product’s manufacturer or manufacturer of component parts
- The wholesaler and salesperson who sold the product
- The medical professional who recommended and installed the device.
No matter what caused your injury, a successful medical device lawsuit can hold the responsible parties liable so that you receive compensation for your losses and the damaging devices can be taken off the market, preventing similar injuries in the future.
Damages You May Receive in a Defective Medical Device Lawsuit
In general, the law requires that a product must meet the ordinary expectations of the consumer. When a product has an unexpected defect or danger, the product cannot be said to meet these ordinary expectations, and you may pursue a lawsuit for the damages you received as a result. A successful defective medical device lawsuit can provide compensation to you and your family for losses that include both your economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages – are those that can be assigned a specific dollar amount. These include:
- medical and rehabilitative bills
- lost wages and earnings from being unable to work, current and future
- costs of continuing care
- costs of modifications to a home, such as to accommodate a wheelchair.
Noneconomic damages – for damages that don’t have a specific monetary value, such as:
- pain and suffering
- emotional and mental distress and anguish
- loss of companionship or consortium
- scarring, severed limbs, or disfigurement.
Punitive damages – In some rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are intended to deter such behaviors in the future and to punish a defendant who acted in an especially reckless or egregious manner, including actual malice or a wrongful or evil motive to injure or kill another.
According to Maryland law, there is a statutory cap on the amount of non-economic damages available in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
How Do I Know My Medical Device is Defective?
When you have a medical device installed, it may take time before you are aware that the medical equipment is defective, and there are instances when the defect is not known until after a death occurs. Even if a medical device you have is recalled, you may not be aware that you have been harmed. If you have had a recalled device implanted, or if you even suspect you have been injured, you should see your doctor and consult an attorney. When you speak to the lawyers associated with the National Injured Senior Law Center, we will examine your situation by reviewing your medical records, FDA alerts, and relevant medical studies by medical experts to discover if a defective medical device may be causing your problems or symptoms.
Some signs to look for that may indicate that something is wrong include:
- An implant or device is causing considerable pain.
- You are having difficulty staying mobile after a joint implant.
- You notice bruising or bleeding.
- You are feeling ill or running a fever without another explanation.
If you notice symptoms, especially in an area where a device was implanted, it’s possible there is a problem with the device; it may have come out of place, have an internal issue, or be failing to work as it should.
When a Defective Device Is Recalled
One sign that your device is defective is if it is recalled by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA recalls medical devices when one of two things happen. There can be a correction, which means the medical device issue must be fixed where it is used or sold. There can also be a directive for removal of the medical device. If devices have been shown to be a health risk or a known defect, the FDA will take them off the market.
In addition, manufacturers and distributors can issue a voluntary recall if they learn that there is an issue with their device.
Recalls have different levels of severity as follows:
- Class I recall — the device could cause significant health problems or fatalities.
- Class II recall — the product can cause serious health problems, but they may be reversible.
- Class III recall – there is a small chance that the product will cause health issues.
If your medical device is recalled or you are having symptoms of a problem, contact your doctor immediately to find the best way to handle it. It is not always necessary to have the device removed or to stop using it, but you want to make sure continued use will not cause additional harm.
Common Medical Device Defects
It may be difficult to know when a medical device is defective, but some common devices have been known to cause problems.
Defective medical devices which have led to lawsuits include:
- Hip or knee implants and replacement devices. These include name brands like DePuy, Stryker and Zimmer. DePuy hip implants are a popular brand used in hip replacement surgeries, but high failure rates and patient injuries have led to recalls and lawsuits. Metal-on-metal artificial hips and artificial knees have had a high rate of failure to bond with bones and caused bone fractures, dislocation, pain, swelling, and the inability to walk. Patients who received metal hip replacements have suffered injuries, implant failures, and metal poisoning.
- Surgical mesh. Defective hernia mesh may cause an infection or pain and a hernia recurrence, and corrective surgery to fix the problem may be necessary. Transvaginal mesh is implanted on the vaginal wall to correct pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, but has caused mesh erosion and organ perforation
- Pacemakers. There have been problems with Dual Chamber Implantable Pulse Generators (IPGs), which have been recalled by Medtronic, Inc. due to possible circuit errors that prevent proper pacing of the heartbeat. Guidant defibrillators which are supposed to deliver an electrical shock to the heart to restore normal heart rhythm were the subject of a major 2005 recall.
- Vial2Bag Fluid Transfer Systems. This device was recalled by West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. because it could malfunction and prevent it from transferring medicine from a vial to the IV bag, causing dangerous improper dosages.
- IVC blood clot filter. Designed to stop dislodged blood clots from traveling to the lungs, these devices have been linked to several injuries and deaths.
- Drug-coated stents. Stents are small metal or plastic tubes inserted permanently into an artery or blood vessel to open an artery that has become too narrow due to atherosclerosis and prevent the re-closing or re-blocking of the artery. A drug-coated stent slowly releases drugs to reduce this possibility, but data suggests there’s a small, but significant risk of blood clotting in the stent.
Other medical devices which have often caused problems include:
- 3M Bair Hugger Warming Blanket
- Biomet Magnum Hip Implant
- Da Vinci Robotic Surgery
- Smith And Nephew Hip Liner
- Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft
- St. Jude Eon Mini
- Essure Birth Control
- Mirena IUD
- Pain Pump Catheters
- Shoulder Pain Pump
- Cobalt Toxicity
- Lasik Eye Surgery
- Olympus Scopes
- Power Morcellation
Call Our Attorneys for Help Getting a Defective Medical Device Settlement
While intended to help, defective medical devices can increase your pain and suffering, cost thousands of dollars in medical bills, and endanger your health and your life. If you have been a victim of a defective medical device our attorneys can help you get a settlement by taking one of three avenues of recovery:
Suing The Manufacturer for Negligence
An injured patient may sue the manufacturer for negligence and show that it failed to manufacture the product in the same way that a reasonably prudent manufacturer would have or failed to include reasonable warnings regarding any potential dangers.
Suing for Breach of Warranty
Suing for breach of warranty is based on an applied warranty ensuring a product’s quality and safety. If the product is unsafe, these warranties have been breached and you can sue for breach of contract.
Suing for Strict Liability
Strict liability is a form of tort action that requires showing that the product was defective. Maryland’s strict liability law requires proving that:
- The product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s or seller’s control.
- The product was unreasonably dangerous.
- The product’s defect caused your injuries.
- There was no substantial change in the product’s condition before it reached you.
Medical device problems are more common and may be more severe in elderly patients, and the elder law attorneys at National Injured Senior Law Center are here to help. Seniors are more likely to need medical devices, and more likely to be injured by any defects. Sometimes people do not become aware that their loved one is injured until after a death occurs. In this case, our attorneys may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturers of the defective medical device.
Call (410) 625-4878 today for a free consultation with our attorneys about a possible medical device lawsuit.