Defective Medical Devices
The pharmaceutical industry has spearheaded innovative and unique products that have helped improve people’s lives in the past few decades. However, there is also a hugely competitive market within this industry. So, it’s common for more giant corporations to neglect safety and health problems to try and push new medications or medical devices to the market over their competition.
As a result, people sustain injuries or die directly from defective medical devices. Suppose you or a loved one has sustained an illness or injury from a defective pharmaceutical or medical device. In that case, our defective medical device lawyers will give you the support you need with aggressive advocacy to help you hold the company liable.
What Are Some Examples of Medical Devices?
Medical devices are critical in helping diagnose, treat, and prevent a medical condition or disease without having chemical actions on any part of your body. It’s important to note that all medical devices will fall into one of three categories:
- Class I devices. These are very low-risk medical devices, including handheld surgical instruments, bandages, and nonelectrical wheelchairs.
- Class II devices. Class II devices have intermediate risks attached to them. Infusion pumps for IV medications and CT scanners are good examples of this class.
- Class III devices. Finally, we have high-risk devices that are essential for sustaining life and important to the patient’s health. Deep-brain stimulators and pacemakers fall into this category.
Defective or dangerous medical devices — like faulty implants, surgical instruments, prosthetics, and pacemakers — can give way to a product liability lawsuit if someone who underwent surgery or used a medical device sustained injuries or died. In addition, even though the FDA closely monitors new products, they can have defective designs, marketing strategies, or manufacturing processes.
In most cases, state cases involving federally approved medical devices have to face challenging obstacles and gain national attention. Below, our Simsbury, Glastonbury and Hartford defective medical device attorneys outline some of the most common high-risk medical devices you may need at one point in your life:
- Da Vinci Surgical Robot. This is popular for surgical procedures where it’s hard to reach the required area.
- Drug-coated stents. A stent is a very small plastic or metal tube medical professionals insert into a blood vessel or artery.
- Guidant defibrillators. Also called pacemakers, people use these to help treat heart disease.
- IVC blood clot filters. The manufacturer initially designed these filters to stop dislodged blood clots from breaking free and traveling to the patient’s lungs.
- Metal hips or DePuy hip implants. As you age or suffer trauma, you can easily break your hip and need a replacement metal hip joint.
- Transvaginal mesh. This is a surgical patch implanted into your vaginal wall to treat stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Another thing to consider that isn’t necessarily a defective medical device but falls under this category as it’s a side effect from issues with your device is cobalt toxicity. This is a possible side effect of having a metal hip implant. Also, metallosis injuries and implant failures are reported side effects due to your medical device malfunctioning that could entitle you to compensation.
What Problems Can a Defective Medical Device Cause?
One of the most significant problems a defective medical device can cause is death or severe injury. Some injuries from these devices could lead to wrongful death, and others could cause grievous harm that could stay with the patient for the rest of their lives. These injuries usually come from a defect in the device, or they can result from transportation damage or a defect in the device’s design. For example, electrical failures due to fires can cause the programming to glitch.
This could make the device administer incorrect doses of medications or irregular treatment lengths or times. In turn, this increases your chances of sustaining a direct injury. This defect could be severe enough for machines like pacemakers to kill a patient through no electrical stimulation or additional charges when their heart needs it.
Implants have a common defect that causes more harm than it helps the patient. For example, some implants tend to explode, causing ruptured blood vessels or nerve damage. A defective prosthetic could easily expose sensitive parts of the patient’s body to the environment or crack or tear to injure the body part that needs it. Surgical instruments with defects could accidentally tear portions of the patient’s body, while others may have a poisonous coating.
A medical device with electrical components could malfunction, shock the body, or accidentally administer the wrong treatment. For standard defective medical devices, the patient might have grounds for a lawsuit against the hospital or device manufacturer with many other people.
What Does It Mean When a Medical Device Is Recalled?
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) can recall a medical device if they find it presents a hazard to the users’ safety and health. All the recalls by the FDA are numerically based on the potential health hazard degree. The three recall classes are the following:
- Class I. The FDA will issue this recall if they believe the product will cause loss of life or a significantly harmful health outcome.
- Class II. Class II recalls happen if there is a slight chance of the device causing injury or if it has negative medically reversible or temporary health consequences.
- Class III. The FDA issues these recalls if the products are unlikely to cause the patient permanent or temporary adverse health outcomes.
The FDA provides a searchable database on its website, and since 2006, the agency has issued 500 Class II medical device recalls. However, a recall for a medical device doesn’t always mean that you must stop using it immediately or choose to remove it. Sometimes, when the FDA issues a Class II recall, it warns people that they want to check or adjust their medical device.
Depending on the possible health issues the medical devices poses, the Food and Drug Administration may choose one of two recall solutions:
- Corrective recalls. This recall tries to reduce or correct the device’s potential adverse health consequences by adjusting, fixing, or taking corrective measures.
- Removal recalls. With removal recalls, the FDA believes any corrective actions they could take with the defective device aren’t enough to protect the patient or the possible corrections are impractical for the device type.
When a Class II implanted medical device could create negative health consequences or fail, the FDA may recommend that you talk to your doctor about the risks associated with removing the device compared to leaving it in and monitoring you.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
At our Hartford County injury law firm, you’ll get aggressive representation with our team of Simsbury and Glastonbury personal injury lawyers to help you file a claim after you suffer due to a defective medical device. We diligently investigate each case while working with experienced medical researchers to learn the most precise and newest information about your device. Then, you’ll get trial-tested advocacy to ensure you can hold the negligent manufacturers responsible for your injuries.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys in Glastonbury or Simsbury have a reputation for not being afraid to fight for our clients. We have several litigation successes, which can help settle without going through a court battle. Whether it’s courtroom arguments or challenging negotiations, we’re ready to help you get total compensation and guard your interests.
I’ve Been Injured by a Defective Product. Who Is Responsible?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has to approve medical equipment, but the device manufacturer is the one who is ultimately responsible for ensuring the product is safe for people to use. Unfortunately, bigger corporations don’t always disclose every potential danger of the medical devices they offer to the public. Defective medical devices get put on the market even though they have a higher risk of causing harm.
It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to let the public and the FDA know about the product’s potential risks and faults. A defective medical device lawyer can hold them liable if they don’t. When a manufacturer puts a defective product out on the market and it’s not safe to perform the intended use and causes harm or death to the patient, it gives way to a lawsuit under medical device product liability law.
These lawsuits seek fair compensation for any patient who has sustained injuries or harm from a defective medical device. You may get a significant settlement if you file and win a lawsuit against the device manufacturer.
Also, if the patient dies due to using the defective device, the family may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Because of these nuances, going through the claims process can be overwhelming and complicated, especially as you recover from losses. An experienced personal injury attorney in Hartford, CT, could help pursue a claim and explain any legal complexities of your case while acting on your behalf.
What Type of Compensation Can I Expect?
Economic damages are financial losses in the barest sense. This can include losses already incurred or ones that will happen later. Loss of earnings and medical expenses are two examples of the economic damages having a defective medical device can cause. Financial harm can also encompass costs related to other fees relating to your predicament. So, if you need a wheelchair now, this can include maintenance to one or potential modifications to your home to make it accessible for your wheelchair.
The economic damage you suffer as a result of your defective device varies from case to case, and this is why it’s vital that you figure out how much compensation you can expect.
Calculating future loss costs is much more complex than figuring out your current economic damage total. This is why your personal injury lawyer will work with medical experts, economists, and other specialists to help figure out how much compensation you’ll need to fit your new reality and explain it in a simple manner to the jury.
You also have to factor in non-economic damages, which are even harder to figure out because they don’t come with a financial cost. Instead, these personal costs usually mean more to the victim than money does. Trauma, physical pain, mental anguish, and disabilities are a few examples of these damages. So, while money won’t make up for everything you lost, it can help you move on with your life.
We’ve helped dozens of clients with faulty medical device claims, so you can rest assured that our team will provide you with the expertise you need to navigate the courts. A few of the claims we can help with include the following:
- Breast implants
- DePuy hip replacements
- Hernia mesh
- Hip implants
- Implanted defibrillators
- IVC filters
- Metal-on-metal hip implants
- Power morcellators
The types of injuries you can suffer can vary greatly, depending on factors like how you were using your medical device and the type of product you had. A few examples of injuries and malfunctions we can help file a lawsuit for include:
- Allergic reactions
- >Bone or tissue damages
- Chronic pains
- Device migration
- Heart attack
- Inflammatory response
- Multiple revision surgeries
- Organ loss or damage
- Permanent disability
- Severe infections
Medical devices can also cause fatal injuries. In some cases, death results from a flawed device, like if a defibrillator doesn’t provide a shock when you need it. On the other end of the spectrum, complications like infections can be bad enough to kill a person, even if that person receives treatment. Some side effects include cancer, which could be an awful outcome for the person. If a loved one dies due to a defective medical device, let us help you get justice.
Connecticut Defective Medical Device Lawyers
If a defective medical device caused an injury or the death of a loved one, allow the professional defective medical device lawyers at our injury law firm to fight for compensation for you. Our clients in Hartford, Glastonbury, and Simsbury, CT, know that we have a reputation for fighting for their rights and helping them take on larger corporations to hold them accountable for their defective medical devices. Contact us for a consultation and see what we can do for your case.