We’ve come a long way since the days of blood-letting leeches and arsenic as an antidote.
Modern medicine makes great use of modern technology:
We have x-ray and MRI machines that give us a glimpse of what’s going on inside our bodies.
We have robots that can perform complicated surgeries. Amazingly, there are even permanent implant devices to help our bodies function.
But medical devices aren’t perfect. Sometimes they malfunction, and cause serious problems. Many patients put their complete trust in a medical device, only to discover it’s causing harm. If you can relate, it’s time to take action. Contact a defective medical device attorney today!
Have questions about defective medical devices and when to file a lawsuit? We’ll walk you through the process below.
Types Of Defective Medical Devices
You might think that the term “defective medical devices” only refers to large implants like a pacemaker that may malfunction. That’s a common misconception.
This is a broad category that includes thousands of devices–from defibrillators to IV drips. Here are some more examples of devices that can malfunction:
- Surgical instruments
- Surgery robots (such as the Da Vinci Robot)
- Heart valves
- Intrathecal drug pumps
- IVC filters
- Surgical staplers
- Powered wheelchairs
- Hernia mesh
- Birth control devices (like the Dalkon shield)
All of these devices (and many more) can cause chronic conditions, bodily injury, or even death when not working properly.
Ways That a Medical Device Can Be Defective
According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, faulty medical gear caused 1.7 million injuries and nearly 83,000 deaths in the U.S. over the last decade.
Vaginal mesh products, metal hip replacements, and insulin pumps are among the top culprits. Doctors tout spinal cord stimulators as an ideal non-drug antidote for pain, but they’ve caused more than 80,000 injuries since 2008, according to FDA reports. Most patients are none the wiser.
Speaking of the FDA, aren’t they supposed to approve these devices before use? That’s what you’d think. But in reality, many devices just don’t go through enough clinical testing before approval.
When that happens, makers are able to rush their devices to market (and start raking in the money). They may know full well that the limited testing they’ve carried out hasn’t shown the device to be 100% safe. Other times, manufacturers are aware that a device is causing problems, but they don’t report those incidents to the FDA.
That’s when accidents happen, and patients have the right to sue the makers of a flawed device. With the help of a defective medical device attorney, they can file a lawsuit to prove the apparatus caused their injuries, and get compensation.
Ways To Prove A Device Was Defective:
- Design Defect. The maker of the medical gadget made a mistake in the original design. Your attorney can argue that the designer was aware of this defect and sold the product anyway, or kept it on the market even after injuries occurred.
- Manufacturing Defect. There isn’t anything wrong with the design of the item. But an error occurred during manufacturing, causing it to be faulty. In this case, the manufacturer is liable, and not the designer.
- Marketing Defect. Something is wrong with the instructions, warnings, or recommendations that come with the device. This can cause the patient or physician to use it incorrectly. When the product causes injury, whoever provided false instructions is liable, whether it’s the manufacturer, doctor, or sales representative.
Do I Need A Defective Medical Device Attorney?
So you’ve received treatment involving some sort of medical device. Turns out, the device was faulty, and now you’re stuck with painful complications and skyrocketing medical bills.
What should you do next? If you were hurt by a defective medical device, chances are someone else was too. That’s why it’s important to seek help from a defective medical device attorney. Your attorney will find out if someone else has already filed a class action lawsuit that’s similar to yours. This may help your case.
Steps to take once you contact a defective medical device attorney:
- Consider your Case. The first step to take when you suspect you’re the victim of a defective medical device is to follow through with a free consultation from an attorney. That way, you can find out whether you have grounds to sue.
- Know Your Opponent. Defective medical device lawsuits are no joke. Device manufacturers know there is money to be made in these apparatuses. And there’s plenty of money to be lost when a successful lawsuit holds them accountable. So these companies will do everything possible to avoid liability. They’re going to power up with the best attorneys available. And you should do the same.
- Seek Compensation. The ultimate goal of a lawsuit is to hold the guilty party accountable and receive compensation. A monetary settlement will help you pay for medical bills related to your injury. It can also cover lost wages and compensate for pain and suffering. You’re much more likely to win your case and obtain a larger settlement if a defective medical device attorney files on your behalf.
Defective Medical Devices Lawsuits
Implanted defibrillators have shocked patients at random. Robotic surgeons have damaged organs. The Dalkon Shield (a birth control implant) sparked life-threatening infections in thousands of women in the 1970s. Unnecessary harm. But when it does happen, patients must look to lawsuits for relief.
Allegedly, St. Jude (now Abbott) Medical knew that its pacemakers and other cardiac devices were defective. But they hid this information for four years, before being forced to recall the faulty products. The health insurance company Humana says a “substantial number” of its patients had to undergo surgery to have the devices removed from their chests. With Humana footing the bill. Now, they’ve filed a lawsuit against Abbott, hoping to get that money back. Read more about it here.
Toxic Hip Implants
Like the Abbott lawsuit, most defective medical device lawsuits involve numerous victims. Stryker, a medical product company, has been involved in almost 2,000 lawsuits since 2019.
Their faulty hip implants released toxic metal ions, causing tissue damage and severe pain. Many patients had to have expensive and painful surgery to repair the damage.
When To Contact A Defective Medical Device Attorney
Do you believe that you or a loved one have been harmed by defective medical devices? The time to act is now. If you wait too long, the statute of limitations may affect your case.
The statute of limitations is a law that puts a time limit on when you may begin legal proceedings once an offense has occurred. This law varies by state. Consult a defective medical device attorney as soon as you realize you have an injury to start your claim. Contact our office today.