Medical devices have improved – and even saved – the lives of many people in New York State and across the country. Many patients rely on devices such as pacemakers, artificial joints, heart monitors and prosthetics every day. They allow people to overcome injuries, regulate heart problems and simply get on with their daily lives.
But when a device fails, the consequences can be devastating, possibly causing serious injury or even death. A device meant to help you may leave you so injured you can’t earn money while you face unexpected medical bills and significant pain.
It’s crucial for medical devices to work as they should. When they don’t, an experienced lawyer can help victims recover the compensation they deserve.
If you or a family member has suffered harm from a defective medical device, the attorneys at Powers & Santola, LLP, will review your claim free of charge. Contact us now online or by phone for a no-charge consultation with no strings attached.
Common Problems with Defective Medical Devices
A medical device, by definition, is an appliance used for patient care that does not use a chemical reaction to work. It’s medical treatment without medication. A medical device fails when it does not adequately perform its intended function.
Medical devices may fail because of a mechanical or software problem, or the failure of an electrical component. They can also fail because of problems with the materials that make up the device. Others are defective in their design.
Common reasons for medical device failure include:
- A design defect.
- A manufacturing problem.
- Improper handling or misuse of the device.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves medical devices, but it’s ultimately up to the manufacturers of medical devices to ensure that they are safe.
The FDA allows for fast-tracking of a medical device’s approval if it is based on a similar, already-approved device. That’s true even if the existing device has been linked to problems or voluntary recalls.
In the end, manufacturers may be held legally responsible if their defective product causes harm to a patient even if it has been FDA-approved.
Common Defective Medical Devices
Sometimes medical devices fail due to the fault of one particular manufacturer. Other times, an entire category of medical devices can be flawed.
Some common medical devices that cause injuries due to defects include:
- Heart valves.
- Knee replacements, hip replacements and other joint replacements.
- Surgical mesh products, including vaginal mesh.
- Insulin pumps.
- Breast implants.
Medical device failures and adverse reactions to medical devices are reported to the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These reports can result in a recall of a particular device when the FDA determines that a product is too dangerous to remain in use.
Between 2005 and 2009, the FDA recalled more than 3,500 defective medical devices.
The FDA posts information on the most serious medical device recalls to the public. You can also look up recall information on the Medical Recalls Database.
Lawsuits Over Defective Medical Devices
If you have been harmed by a defective medical device, you may have a legal claim for compensation. Often, these cases are product liability claims against the manufacturer of the device. They are subject to product liability laws – the same ones that protect people against dangerous toys, medications and cars.
In many situations, thousands of people have been affected by the same defective medical device. This could lead to a class-action lawsuit, where the injured parties join together in one lawsuit against the manufacturer. In other cases, plaintiffs will retain their individual claims, but they will be heard by one judge in one court. This is called “multi-district litigation,” or MDL.
Sometimes, a medical provider makes a mistake when installing or prescribing a medical device. Even though the device works as it should, complications and other problems develop. The injured person could bring a medical malpractice lawsuit in cases such as this.
If you think a defective medical device caused your injuries, it’s important to contact a qualified lawyer who handles product liability and medical malpractice cases as soon as possible. You and your attorney will need to start an investigation and gather medical information and evidence to support your legal claim.
Contact Our Defective Medical Device Lawyers Today
If you have suffered injuries because of a defective medical device, the attorneys at Powers & Santola, LLP, can help you navigate the legal process of bringing a product liability or medical malpractice claim.
Our experience with product liability and medical malpractice cases helps us fight for everything our clients are entitled to recover under the law. In every case, our goal is to achieve a result that will make a fundamental improvement in a client’s life.
Contact Powers & Santola, LLP, online or call us now to schedule a free initial consultation at our Albany or Syracuse office. Talk to an experienced upstate New York medical malpractice lawyer today to find out more about your legal rights.