When a defective medical device causes injury or death, medical device litigation may help victims receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Our medical attorneys represent individuals or loved ones of those who have been harmed by defective medical devices who have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of those devices.
Current Defective Medical Device Cases
Beasley Allen’s medical attorneys are currently investigating cases of injury or death related to the following defective medical devices:
Some older artificial hips used during hip replacements, made within the last decade, use a metal cup liner, which was designed to be more durable than cup liners made with other materials. However, many metal-on-metal hip implants have failed prematurely – often within five years of implantation. The devices have also been shown to release metal ions into the bloodstream, a condition called metallosis, which causes inflammation and bone erosion. Physicians advise people who have undergone hip replacements and have, or think they have, a metal-on-metal implant to contact their orthopedic surgeon even if the joint appears to be functioning well to rule out premature failure or metallosis.
Despite the overall high success rate in knee replacement surgeries, patients may still experience problems if their knee replacement device is defective. These patients require revision surgery to remove and replace the device. Defective knee implant problems include loosening of the tibial component at the implant-cement interface, which can cause pain when applying weight to the affected knee, swelling, and decreased range of motion.
A study published in the journal Surgical Endoscopy involving two large, independent hernia registries found an unusually high number of recurrence and reoperation rates with Physiomesh, a type of hernia mesh made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon, compared to similar meshes for laparoscopic ventral hernia repair. As a result, on May 25 2016, Ethicon issued a voluntary recall of 10 models of Physiomesh. Numerous patients who received Physiomesh hernia mesh suffered complications and required revision surgery. Some have died from their injuries.
What is a medical device?
Medical devices range from simple instruments such as tongue depressors and thermometers to retail or prescribed devices such as blood sugar meters and surgically implanted devices like artificial hips and surgical mesh. They are designed to restore health and improve quality of life. And they are widely used.
According to a NASDAQ industry analysis, worldwide sales of medical devices are predicted to reach $800 billion by 2030. The United States currently leads the world market with more than $180 billion in annual revenues, and the medical device industry remains optimistic about future growth.
What is a defective medical device?
In a terrible twist, a medical device that promises to help patients can do just the opposite, and cause a serious, permanent injury and even death. This can occur when medical device manufacturers don’t thoroughly test their products for safety and efficacy, or skimp on manufacturing protocols. This can result in injuries such as infection, inflammation, and rejection of an implant that led to complications, pain, illness and even death.
Defective medical devices are responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths each year. According to the Investigational Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), there were more than 1.7 million injuries and nearly 83,000 deaths suspected of being linked to medical devices reported in the U.S. over the past 10 years.
Failed devices are frequently recalled by the manufacturer.
Types of defective medical device recalls
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees marketing of medical devices in the United States and for ensuring each offers a “reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.” When a medical device manufacturer learns that there is a problem with one of its medical devices, the company is expected to issue a recall to correct or remove the defective medical device, and inform the FDA.
There are three classes of medical device recalls:
Class I: Involves a situation where there is a reasonable chance that a product will cause serious health problems or death.
Class II: Involves a situation where a product may cause a temporary or reversible health problem or where there is a slight change that it will cause serious health problems or death.
Class III: Involves a situation where a product is not likely to cause any health problem or injury.
Types of medical devices
Retail or prescribed medical devices
These medical devices are also sometimes called home health devices or home medical services. These devices may be purchased over-the-counter by the patient available in retail stores such as drugstores and stores specializing in home health equipment. They may also be prescribed by and used under the care of licensed practitioners including doctors, dentists, optometrists or veterinarians.
These types of medical devices include various prostheses, ventilators, sleep apnea monitors, respiratory disease management services, sickle cell tests, ultrasound monitors, and in some jurisdictions, hypodermic syringes may fall under this classification.
Surgically implanted medical devices
Surgically implanted medical devices are man-made products usually made of biomedical materials such as titanium, silicone, apatite, plastic, ceramic or other materials that should not interfere with or irritate existing biological structures.
- Hip implants
- Knee implants
- Shoulder implants
- Pins, rods, screws and plates used to hold fractured bones together as they heal
- Cochlear implants
- Drug delivery devices such as stents or insulin pumps
- Surgical mesh, including transvaginal mesh and hernia mesh
Medical device litigation
Our medical attorneys are privileged to represent individuals harmed by defective medical devices. Our attorneys are honored to be among an exclusive group of trial lawyers that are willing and able to stand against medical device companies. Our team of experienced attorneys represent victims with a wide range of injuries against many different companies that manufacture and market defective medical devices. All too often we find that the top priority of device makers is profit, not patient health. Rather than readily investigate potential safety problems, they are slow to examine and even slower to admit a device is defective or dangerous.
If you are an individual who has been injured by a defective medical device, let us provide the strength you need to obtain justice. As your attorney, we will work closely with you as together we fight to make things right. If you feel you have a claim, our attorneys would like to talk to you. You may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
Let us put our resources to work for you. If you are an attorney, we can competently and conscientiously assist you in handling any group of cases, no matter how large.