Medical devices continue to revolutionize the medical field and improve the lives of thousands of people every year. However, these devices can also dramatically impact a persons’ life if they are not in proper working order when they are installed. A defective medical device can cause not only painful life-threatening injuries but can cause death and several financial repercussions. While it may seem that these injuries are rare, there has been a steady increase in the number of recalled drugs and medical devices. The total number of recalled drugs increased 309 percent between 2006 and 2009. And, according to the FDA, serious complications from medical device use have outpaced the industry’s growth by 8 percent each year since 2001.
If you have been injured because of a defective medical device you need an experienced personal injury and product liability attorney to help you prove that your injuries were caused by a defective product. For more than 20 years Ken Kieklak has fought for injury victims. To schedule a free and private legal consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online today.
Common Defective Medical Devices
While there are thousands of medical devices on the market, some of the most commonly known are:
• Heart stents
• Silicone implants
• Implantable contraceptives and intrauterine devices
• Artificial knee joints
• Heart valves
• Artificial hip replacements
Major medical companies and manufacturers have paid billions of dollars over the past several years to settle claims from faulty medical devices and for prescriptions. Merck paid an estimated 4.85 billion dollars in 2008 to those who took their painkiller and subsequently suffered a heart attack or stroke.
Defective Medical Device Liability
Companies that design and manufacture medical devices have a legal duty to their customers to ensure that their products are safe for use. In addition, they must comply with strict regulations set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before any medical product can be put onto the market and into circulation. However, there are many problems that can arise during the design phase, manufacturing phase, marketing phase, or any combination of these.
• Design phase
• Manufacturing phase
• Marketing phase
A design defect is a problem that arises in a medical device during the design process. There are many problems that can arise during the design phase, however, merely because there is a design defect does not necessarily mean that this will be the basis for liability. The standard that most courts employ to determine liability based on a design defect is to determine whether your harm was directly caused by a medical device’s design defect. If there were other reasons why the device caused an injury, such as if it was improperly installed, then it may not be possible to receive compensation for your injuries based on a design defect. The courts will turn to one of two rules to determine if there was a design defect that would be sufficient to support a claim for liability namely. the “consumer expectations rule” and the “risk-utility balancing rule.” Under these rules, an actionable design defect exists when the medical device is, unreasonably dangerous as designed, or not safe for its intended and reasonably foreseeable uses.
The manufacturing phase is also a phase where mistakes are common and can cause injuries. Most medical device products are made in large manufacturing facilities that are owned by the same medical corporations that design the devices. Designing and manufacturing medical devices requires exacting attention to detail and virtually no deviation in the process. However, manufacturing defects do occur because of faulty or aging machinery, human error, and miscalculation, or faulty components.
During the marketing phase of medical device manufacturing, there are significant opportunities for there to be an error which results in injuries. Specifically, if the company fails to warn of the potentially dangerous conditions that the product can pose.
Damages in a Defective Medical Device Injury Case
Over the past several years there have been many notable lawsuits involving large medical device manufacturing companies. Many of these suits have resulted in companies paying billions of dollars to injured patients all over the country. Plaintiffs who are injured by a medical device that fails or a medication that causes harm can sue for:
- The medical care needs to get better, stabilize the problem and manage the long-term pain
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
It is not always easy to determine the exact amount of damages in a defective medical device case, and each injury is very fact-specific. However, because these cases are extremely fact specific, injured patients have an uphill battle to prove their injuries and damages. That is why it is imperative that you work with an experienced Arkansas attorney who will review all of the relevant facts of your case as well as all of the applicable federal and state laws.
Rely on a Benton County Defective Medical Device Attorney
If you have been injured by a defective medical device, Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law can fight on your behalf. For more than 20 years Ken Kieklak has fought for injury victims. To schedule a free and private legal consultation call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online today.