Washington DC Medical Device Lawyer Explains Common Defects and Recalls
Medical devices and implants like pacemakers, artificial joints and defibrillators can vastly improve your quality of life and, in some cases, save your life. However, if medical devices contain product defects, they may fail or break, possibly causing more damage than the underlying conditions they are designed to treat. The companies that manufacture and sell implants and medical equipment must perform extensive tests to eliminate dangerous defects. Still, many companies neglect necessary tests, ignore negative results, and/or fail to remove products from the market once they are shown to be unsafe. If a medical device failure caused your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death, then you may be able to collect compensation from the manufacturer.
The attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have more than 100 years of combined experience representing helping victims of defective implants and medical devices get the settlements or verdicts they deserve. We can investigate your complications and work with industry experts to find the true cost of your injuries. We can also advise you on whether the product that caused your injuries was subject to a medical device recall. In some cases, you may be able to join an ongoing class action lawsuit or multidistrict litigation (MDL).
What Are Common Examples of Defective Medical Devices?
Virtually any medical device may contain serious design and/or manufacturing defects. Victims of device failure may require additional surgeries or treatments as a result. In some cases, a medical device failure may cause severe internal injuries, which may be fatal. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalls dozens of dangerous products each year, many unsafe devices remain in the marketplace, harming patients nationwide.
You may be able to file a product liability lawsuit for any kind of flawed medical device, depending on the circumstances. However, some common examples of medical products that historically have contained flaws include:
- Joint replacement implants. Recently, several companies have issued recalls for defective hip and knee implants. These implants may fail or come loose, causing infection and other complications. This often forces recipients to undergo difficult and painful second replacement surgeries. For example, DePuy, Stryker, Zimmer, Biomet, and Smith & Nephew all recalled defective knee and hip replacement devices.
- Pacemakers. A pacemaker treats irregular heartbeats, which is a potentially fatal condition. Defective pacemakers may cause heart attacks or fail to stop irregular rhythms. In some cases, these problems can cause complications like pacemaker syndrome, characterized by dizziness, palpitations, difficulty breathing, and constant twitching of chest or abdominal muscles. Some companies, such as Medtronic, have recalled pacemakers for dangerous defects.
- Surgical mesh. Several companies have issued medical device recalls for hernia mesh and transvaginal mesh. Defective meshes may migrate, break and/or cause serious infection. Complications from bladder slings and other mesh products can cause implant failure and symptoms, including serious pain.
- Surgical equipment. Recently, both the da Vinci surgical robot and the 3M bair hugger surgical blanket were subject to recalls. Although these are not implants, defects in surgical equipment also cause serious injuries to patients.
- IVC filters. Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters may prevent blood clots from migrating to patients’ hearts. However, filters are prone to breakage, and fragments may pierce blood vessels or organs, causing potentially catastrophic injury.
- IUDs. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are implants that provide birth control. However, defective IUDs may migrate, perforate organs, or fail to prevent pregnancy.
- Medication. Defective drugs may fail to work as they should or cause dangerous side effects.
- Lap bands. Used to treat morbid obesity, defective gastric lap bands may cause severe complications, vomiting, and infection.
- Defibrillators. A defective automated external defibrillator (AED) may fail to work or cause electrocution injuries. Some companies, such as Cardiac Science, have recently issued AED recalls for these reasons.
Who Is Liable for Unsafe Medical Devices?
Depending on the circumstances and the device involved, several different parties may share liability for your injuries. These may include:
- Product manufacturer. The company that produces and sells the device may be liable if a design or manufacturing defect causes injuries. Additionally, the manufacturer may be liable for deceptive or misleading marketing, as well as improper labeling.
- Testing company or lab. If a different company performed safety tests on a product but failed to identify defects, then you may be able to include that company in your claim. You lawyer can gather evidence to demonstrate that the testing lab or company failed to follow standard procedures or was otherwise negligent.
- Hospital. If doctors and medical workers fail to warn you of known risks or ignore warning labels on medical implants and devices, then the hospital or clinic may be legally responsible for your injuries and other damages.
- Doctor. In some cases, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against your doctor for defect-related injuries. For example, a doctor may prescribe a medication with known defects and fail to warn patients about the risks.
Depending on the circumstances, the verdicts and settlements for defective medical device claims may be large, since victims often need medical assistance for the rest of their lives. A medical device lawyer from our firm can identify all potentially liable parties on your behalf and help you file a product liability lawsuit.
More Questions? Call a Washington DC Medical Device Lawyer at Our Firm Now
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from medical device failure, then contact our attorneys today. We can assist you in filing a product liability lawsuit against all liable parties to maximize your compensation. If possible, we can also advise you of relevant recalls, class actions, or multidistrict litigation. We have the experience and reputation necessary to handle claims against even the largest and most powerful manufacturing companies.
Our law firm represents injury victims in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia and nationwide. If you need a medical device lawyer, then call (202) 463-3030 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.