Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Product Liability Caused By Defective Medical Devices

The term "medical device" refers to just about any device used by medical practitioners to treat a disease, illness, injury, or disability. Some examples of medical devices that have run into medical and legal problems include:

                defibrillators (small electronic devices implanted in the patient's heart that deliver electric shocks to maintain normal heart rhythm)

                stents (tubes, sometimes drug-coated, inserted into an artery to prevent blockage)

                implants (synthetic devices implanted to restore function to the patient's disabled body part, such as a hip or shoulder)

                contraceptive devices

                silicone implants that cause damage to the immune system

                artificial knee joints

                heart valves

                artificial hip replacements

                Any malfunctioning device, such as a pain pump or insulin pump

In 1976, the FDA adopted a process called 510(k) This process allowed for quicker approval of medical devices that were similar to existing products already available without the normal testing that would usually be required. This is a quicker, less expensive way for medical device companies to get their products onto the market. Consequently, we are seeing defective medical devices entering the market that simply are unsafe and that lack any long-term studies.

          Defectively manufactured medical devices. These are devices that were improperly manufactured or otherwise damaged. A defectively manufactured medical device can be created as a result of an error at the manufacturing facility, a shipping problem, or an error that occurs at the hospital or doctor's office. These are medical devices that were properly manufactured but have an unreasonably dangerous design that results in injury. Sometimes, a medical device will have been on the market for a long time before causing serious injuries, typically because the device breaks down in some way. In some cases, the victims may claim that the manufacturer knew of the danger but deliberately concealed it or delayed taking the product off the market.

                 Defectively marketed medical devices. The "marketing" of a medical device refers to any recommendation, warning, lack of a warning, or instruction concerning the use of that medical device.  This category of claims involves anything from a failure to provide adequate or accurate warnings regarding the danger posed by the medical device to a failure to provide adequate instructions regarding its safe and appropriate use. The "bad advice" may have been given by the manufacturer or by a doctor, hospital, sales representative, or other medical provider.

Who Is Liable in a Clearwater Defective Medical Device Case?

If you have been injured by a defective medical device, it is important to speak to an experienced Clearwater products liability attorney to determine if any third party or business is liable for your injuries and damages including.

       Laboratories:  Any testing laboratory that performed tests on the medical device.

       Sales representatives:  Medical device manufacturers often use sales representative who meet with doctors and other members of the medical community to sell devices and made recommendations for uses and applications. 

       Doctors:  The doctor who recommended the medical device may be liable based upon their failure to warn you about potential dangers or to provide adequate instructions regarding the proper use of the medical device.

       Hospitals:  Hospitals and clinics that are part of the chain of distribution between the manufacturer of the medical device and the consumer may be liable for your injuries.

       Retailer:  Products obtained from a pharmacy, drug store, or other retail supplier may also be liable. 

As a consumer or patient, you deserve to be protected against unsafe medical devices. Too often consumers do not discover until it is too late that the medical device they have been using causes short-term or permanent damage. The costs of related to this harm from medical expenses, lost income and rehabilitation can run into the millions of dollars. You have a right to recover your losses.

Contact a Clearwater Product Liability Lawyer

If you have received an injury while using a medical device a third party individual or business may be liable for your damages.  At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled product liability lawyers will investigate your case and protect your rights under Florida law.  Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900