Injury Claim For Defective Medical Devices - Adamson Ahdoot

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Defective Medical Devices: Legal Recourse for Injuries Caused by Faulty Medical Devices

July 6, 2023 Alan Ahdoot
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Medical equipment serves to help improve our quality of life. But what happens when medical devices are defective or do not work properly? Unfortunately, they do the exact opposite–they have the potential to hurt us.

Defective medical devices like hip implants and pacemakers can cause severe injuries. At its worse, it could even lead to death.

In the past decade, faulty medical devices have caused more than 80,000 deaths nationwide. This number shows just how dangerous these life-saving machines could be. 

Fortunately for victims, there’s hope. If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical device, we’re here to help. In this blog, we’ll discuss your right to file a claim and how lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. 

What Are Medical Devices? 

The term refers to any implant, device, monitor, or machine healthcare professionals use to treat patients. These include the following: 

  • Defibrillators
  • Stents
  • Implants
  • Hernia Mesh
  • Inferior Vena Cava Filters
  • CPAP Machines
  • Contraceptive Devices

If you’ve been injured while using any of these devices, you have every right to file a claim for product liability

Understanding Product Liability in Defective Medical Device Lawsuits

Before we jump into settlements for defective medical devices, we need to understand product liability law. Product liability refers to the responsibility manufacturers and sellers have when a defective product injures a customer.

As manufacturers and sellers, it’s their responsibility to ensure that their devices are safe for everyday use. This means it’s their job to check for defects and inform patients of any dangerous side effects of their product. 

If a patient gets seriously injured because they didn’t thoroughly test their devices, they can be held legally responsible for the incident. 

Now, there are three types of defects you can find in lawsuits involving defective medical devices:

Manufacturing Defects

If there was an error while a CPAP machine was being manufactured, it could cause serious problems in how it functions. The same thing applies when it’s damaged during shipping. 

Manufacturing defects can be tricky. These claims are often based on strict liability. You need to have proof that there was a defect in the device that caused your injury. 

Design Defects

Compared to manufacturing defects, design defects are far more complicated. This type of claim alleges that an entire product line is defective.

For example, let’s say the designers didn’t consider certain risks when creating their prototypes. Whatever the reason, if a patient can prove they could’ve used a safer and more cost-effective alternative design, they can be held liable for all the injuries the device caused. 

This claim also applies when a manufacturer knowingly hides a potential issue with the device or doesn’t want to recall the device despite its defects. 

Marketing Defects

Whenever patients are given a medical device, they also get an instructional guide telling them how to use it properly. This guide should also include warnings that patients should be aware of when using the device. 

If manufacturers fail to do this, consumers can sue them under the theory that they failed to inform them of the device’s dangers. 

This rule also applies when doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare professionals fail to teach patients how to use a machine they recommended properly. 

hand holding a white device
Manufacturers should provide patients with instructions on how to use their medical devices properly.

Who Should Be Liable For A Faulty Medical Device?

There are four parties you can sue in a lawsuit for defective medical devices:

Manufacturers

When manufacturers create new medical equipment, they must submit it to the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) for approval. They need the CDRH’s approval before distributing their new medical device. 

However, the CDRH receives over 22,000 submissions each year. It takes them at least six months to examine a new device. So, to expedite their process, they started offering a fast-track application called the Premarket Notification. 

In this process, companies must prove to the CDRH that their new equipment is intended to be used for the same purpose as an already-approved device. 

The downside to this application is that the manufacturer has to do all the work of verification. They’re the ones who will test the overall safety of their product. This could easily cause the FDA to overlook any mistake they’ve made. 

If they didn’t test their products properly or chose to overlook a defect, they can be held liable for any injuries a customer sustains. 

Doctors

Yes, even your doctors can be liable for defective medical devices. They must warn you of potential dangers and teach you how to use them properly. If they fail to inform you properly, you can sue them for damages it caused you. 

Hospitals or Clinics

Any company, including hospitals and clinics, that was part of the distribution chain between the manufacturer and the patient may be liable for damages. 

Retail Supplier

If you purchased the defective medical device from a pharmacy or a drug store, they’re officially the final point of the device’s distribution chain. They may be liable if the defect was caused by mishandling. 

How to File A Claim For Defective Medical Devices

In California, product liability claims have a two-year statute of limitation. You have two years since you discovered your injuries to file a claim. Once this period is done, you can no longer go after the manufacturer. 

Unfortunately, lawsuits around defective medical devices are complicated. But there’s no need to don’t worry; Adamson Ahdoot’s lawyers can help you out.

Adamson Ahdoot is a full-service civil litigation firm with over 100 years of combined legal experience. With our help, you can trust that the best lawyers will handle your case with the intimacy and attention to detail of a boutique firm, with the expertise of a larger one.

We have lawyers that specialize in defective medical devices. With their help, you can build a compelling claim and have experts represent you during negotiations. 

Adamson Ahdoot promises to increase your chances of winning a fair settlement. We proudly serve a diverse clientele with their car accident cases and offer free English and Spanish consultations.

Call us at (800) 310-1606 and start building a robust case today.

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