Advances in medical technology have improved the lives of millions. Many medical professionals rely on novel devices to make their work possible. Sometimes, though, these devices malfunction, break, or harm the patient they are used on. Even life-saving or life-sustaining equipment can potentially cause devastating injuries. A seasoned medical devices attorney will be able to work with you on your case to get you the proper compensation you are entitled to. Contact our medical device malfunction attorney at Malloy Law Offices, LLC today for your free consultation regarding your case.
Generally, a medical device is defined as an instrument that is used to either diagnose or treat a medical condition. They can extend to anything from semi-permanent implants to tongue depressors. Medical devices, like drugs, are categorized one of three ways. These categories are as follows:
Class I – These are not intended to be used in emergency situations where severe impairment may occur. Most of the devices categorized under Class I include items such as tongue depressors, stethoscopes, examination gloves, and bandages.
Class II – Class II devices must meet a higher standard than the ones in Class I. This class includes devices such as motorized wheelchairs, air purifiers, surgical drapes, and even acupuncture needles.
Class III – These are generally the type that would be used in emergency situations, or to sustain life. This class includes devices such as defibrillators, pacemakers, and even diagnostic tests for diseases.
Almost any medical device can potentially fail or malfunction. Some of the most well-known medical device failures are listed below:
Physiomesh: Many hernias are repaired using surgical mesh to help reinforce and strengthen the abdominal wall. Manufactured by Ethicon, Physiomesh was designed to be used during surgical repairs for hernias. The product was rushed to the market before it gained standard FDA approval. Physiomesh would wrinkle, shrink, or change shape after being attached to the herniated tissue. In some cases, this would cause it to grow into the intestinal wall, obstruct the bowels, cause infection, or cause other complications. This would then necessitate revision surgeries.
Vaginal Mesh: Vaginal mesh is used for women who suffer from Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) or Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) to provide support to the pelvic region and prevent incontinence. Some complications that can arise from having vaginal mesh put in place include perforation of the bowel, bladder, or intestines, vaginal epithelium erosion, and infection. Revision surgery is often required in these situations, which increases the patient’s pain and suffering, as well as the length of their recovery time.
IVC Filter: Also known as an Inferior Vena Cava Filter. These are usually prescribed to patients with pulmonary embolisms who are also unable to take anti-coagulants, or blood thinners. The IVC filter is a small metal device that sits inside the blood vessel and prevents blood clots from traveling up into the lungs. However, if retrievable IVC filters have been left in longer than five years, dangerous metal fragments can travel through a person’s blood vessels to the heart or lodge in other tissue.
Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant: Several manufacturers have been involved in lawsuits over the last several years. Each of these companies developed a type of hip implant that is called “metal-on-metal.” Which consists of a metal ball joint with a metal socket. Side effects included loosening of the implant, metal poisoning due to metal particles entering the blood system, infection, and implant failure.
Generally, medical device cases are subject to strict liability. Strict liability is where the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the product was clearly defective and that it had been put on the market regardless of its effectiveness or lack of it. The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the manufacturers failed to use a reasonable standard of care during or after the manufacturing and sale process. As with other product liability cases, there is a three-year Statute of Limitations.
Mass torts, or class-action suits, are incredibly complex. Any one person attempting to lay out their case would be overwhelmed with the intricacies of personal Injury law. Retaining the services of a medical device lawyer will help take the strain of litigation off your shoulders. They will handle every aspect of your case, this way you can focus on your recovery.
At Malloy Law Offices, LLC, we provide professional, trustworthy, legal representation. In medical device cases, we offer counsel on a contingency fee basis. With over 15 years of experience in complex injury cases, we understand the process of seeking compensation in cases of medical device failure. If you have suffered health consequences due to a faulty medical device, you deserve to recover the maximum possible in compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.