Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dangerous Medical Products - How Can They Injure You?

You have probably seen the commercials: "If you have been injured by a pelvic implant, call our law firm and join our class-action lawsuit today!" But what does that actually mean? Can anyone who received a potentially dangerous pelvic implant join a lawsuit, even if the device has not injured him or her? And even if you are injured by a medical device, does that guarantee your right to monetary compensation? Although permanent or semi-permanent medical implant devices are the only treatment option for certain injuries, introducing non-organic products into the complex human body can cause serious medical issues that are often not anticipated by the makers of those products.

Common Types of Dangerous Medical Products

Some of the most dangerous medical products are non-organic medical implant devices, such as artificial joints, heart defibrillators (pacemakers), and surgical meshes. It is reported that tens of millions of Americans live with medical device implants, but did you know that many of these medical devices are often not tested before they reach the consumer market? Further, most surgeons do not have specialized training when it comes to implanting these devices, and it is often the product's sales representative who shows the doctor how to use and implant the device before and during surgery.

The famous “transvaginal mesh" cases are an example of these types of products. In those cases, patients were implanted with surgical mesh, which is a device implanted to support certain organs, such as a sinking bladder. However, implantation of these relatively untested mesh devices by attaching them to the vaginal area caused thousands of women to experience mesh erosion, pain, rejection of the implant, infection, bleeding, organ perforation, and urinary problems, which resulted in additional surgeries and permanent physical and nerve damage.

Nonetheless, surgical implants are not the only medical products that can cause harm. Certain over-the-counter products, such as talcum powder, have been linked to ovarian cancer, and certain non-implantation medical devices, such as the use of a certain warming blanket during surgery, have been linked to greater risk of developing serious infections.

Injuries Caused by Dangerous Medical Products

As the human body is complex, the injuries suffered through the use of certain medical devices will vary based on the patient. However, the following injuries are most commonly associated with dangerous medical implantation devices:

  • Infections
  • Nerve, bone, and tissue trauma to the area of implant
  • Organ perforation
  • Hematomas
  • Loose product fragments
  • Bodily fluid leaks
  • Abnormal bone and tissue growth around the device

Use of non-implanted products, such as talcum powder, can lead to diseases such as cancer, and many other products can cause various injuries depending on their location and the health of the patient.

Florida Products Liability Law

If you have been injured by a dangerous medical device or product, your legal cause of action generally lies in theory called “products liability.” Under Florida law, a products liability action is defined as a lawsuit "based on a theory of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, nuisance, or similar theories for damages caused by the malfunction, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation, or assembly of a product." The only catch is that the injuries you received from the product must be greater than those you would have suffered without its use. For example, if you have a heart condition that would likely cause death without a pacemaker, even if implantation of the pacemaker results in pain and discomfort, you would likely not have an action in products liability because the benefits of implanting the lifesaving device outweighed its potential defects.

Who Is Liable for Harmful Products?

Florida law provides a long list of legal theories that can be used in bringing a products liability action. It also states that these theories may be based on a number of issues involving the product, such as design, installation, or assembly of the product. As such, you are not limited to suing the manufacturer alone if you suffer an injury as the result of a defective product. You may be able to sue the company that designed and tested the product, the company that marketed the product as “safe,” and any product representatives who may have assembled and helped install the product. Further, medical products liability actions often go hand in hand with actions for medical malpractice against a physician or medical facility. A doctor who wrongly installs a product, is not fully educated on its use, or does not warn you of the likely complications can also be held liable for your injuries.

What Can You Recover?

If you are successful in your products liability action, you may be able to recover damages for the following:

  • Past medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Home and nursing care
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of quality of life

Unfortunately, some medical devices, such as certain spinal implant devices, have been known to cause such serious bone growth and nerve damage that what was meant to improve your quality of life can destroy it.

Contact a Clearwater Products Liability Attorney Today

When you are suffering from a medical condition that can be treated only with medical devices, you have likely already spent time suffering. There is nothing more discouraging than when what was meant to treat you causes greater pain and loss. But you are not alone, and you are entitled to the compensation you deserve to help you live life to its fullest. The attorneys at Dolman Law Group have the experience you need to fight the medical corporations that are turning a fast profit at the expense of your health and well-being. Most corporations will make millions of dollars by rolling out untested medical products before side effects and symptoms begin to develop in patients. They even anticipate this being the case. Don't let them get away with it. Call our Clearwater office today at 727-451-6900 for a free, no-risk consultation about your rights after a failed medical implant.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765