A defective medical device is a product with a manufacturing or design defect, or a product that becomes dangerous because of a marketing defect such as insufficient instructions or warnings. When a medical device causes unreasonable risk of physical harm to the user with appropriate usage then the product may be deemed defective. Among all types of defective products, a defective medical device has a very high probability of causing serious personal injury or even death.
If you or a loved one was injured by a defective medical device, speak to an experienced product liability attorney in your state as product liability laws vary.
When a patient suffers a personal injury as a result of a defective medical device, a product liability claim may be an appropriate way to seek damages. Unlike a medical malpractice claim that seeks to hold a medical practitioner responsible for their unreasonable action or inaction (compared to the medical standard of care), a products liability claim uses strict liability to hold a product’s designer, manufacturers, wholesaler or retailer responsible for the injury.
Medical devices vary from the very simple such as a heating pad to the very complex like a pacemaker. A heating pad that gets so hot that it burns the skin of the patient may have a design flaw. A pacemaker that has served millions of patients well but stops operating in one patient may have a manufacturing flaw. A heating pad without proper warning of how long it is safe to keep on the skin may have a marketing defect.
How the FDA regulates medical devices
Medical devices are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and they provide a searchable database for medical device recalls.
Keeping the medical device as evidence
It is absolutely vital that the defective medical device be kept as close as possible to the condition that it was in as the time the injury occurred. Proving the defective product case may hinge on expert testimony about the flaw in the product and the defense team has a right to examine the product. If the plaintiff impedes that right, even accidentally, the judge may dismiss the lawsuit.
Preserving the medical device should be fairly simple to do if it is an external product such as a heating pad. If the product is an internal device that must be removed through surgery such as a pacemaker, it is important to clearly communicate with the surgeon and the surgery team that you need to keep the device for a case and/or have them take pictures of the device before it is discarded as medical waste.
Before doing anything with the medical device, it is best to seek the advice of a qualified defective products attorney who will advise you about how to proceed.
The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable medical errors including birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections and wrongful death in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment if we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a Statute of Limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.
Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced attorneys.