Defective Medical Devices

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Every year in the U.S, thousands of people are harmed by defective medical devices. When a defective medical device results in injury or death, patients or their loved ones may be eligible for compensation.

  • Seeger Weiss was a member of the Executive Committee and Negotiating Committee on behalf of thousands of victims who brought lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Depuy Orthopaedics, alleging that their defective ASR hip replacement implants caused infections and other complications, requiring revision surgery. The firm ultimately negotiated an almost $3 billion settlement.

Defective Medical Devices

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured by medical devices. In some cases, injury was only minor and was unexpected but many of the injuries are more severe and may be due to a defective medical device.

Injuries from defective medical devices can be serious and may result in:

  • Hospitalization
  • Severe pain
  • Surgery
  • Further medical treatment
  • Permanent disability
  • Psychological trauma
  • Birth defects
  • Other medical complications
  • Death

Over 4,000 types of medical devices are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with more than 190,000 individual products. Most of these devices function as intended, most of the time. Only a few defective medical devices are ultimately responsible for almost all of the injuries caused by medical devices.

Between 2008 and 2018, researchers estimate that 1.7 million injuries and more than 80,000 deaths were caused by malfunctioning medical devices. The majority of these injuries and deaths were caused by only a few types of medical devices, but the consequences can be severe.

Defective Medical Device Injuries

There is a combined danger resulting from a defective medical device as it:

  1. fails to treat the original medical condition and
  2. causes new or additional injury to the patient

Unfortunately, some of the most dangerous defective devices have been used to treat common health conditions, resulting in hundreds of thousands of injuries during the life of certain devices.

The most common causes of serious medical injuries resulting from use of a medical device include defective:

  • hip replacement devices or other artificial joint products
  • pumps for vital medication such as insulin or pain treatment
  • implanted surgical products like surgical or transvaginal mesh
  • cardiac products like defibrillators or pacemakers
  • cardiac surgical intervention devices like stents and filters

When numerous patients have been harmed in a similar way by the same type of device, many victims or their loved ones decide to seek compensation through a defective medical device lawsuit.

Defective Medical Device Lawsuits

Medical device liability is similar to other product liability in which a victim seeks damages from a manufacturer in compensation for harm that has been caused by that product. In order to be successful, attorneys for the victim must show that the patient was harmed, that the device caused the harm, that the patient had a right to trust the device and that the manufacturer did not uphold that trust.

When seeking compensation for injuries or deaths caused by defective medical devices, victims or loved ones of those inured may be eligible for:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Wrongful death
  • Other damages

In some cases, if it can be proven that a manufacturer knew that a device was defective but continued to sell it anyway, they may be forced to pay punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are intended to punish the company and may be much higher than other awards.

Even when employing new technology and new techniques, companies are expected to follow a standard of care and safety to the patient should be the utmost importance. Lack of quality in medical devices is unacceptable.

Each case is unique and must be evaluated separately. Seeger Weiss does everything in our legal power to help victims who have suffered through this unfortunate situation.

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Since its establishment in 1999, Seeger Weiss has led some of the most complex and high-profile litigations in the U.S.