Defective medical devices can turn your life upside down

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Product Liability

It’s common for our joints to wear down as we get older, leading to pain and loss of mobility. Fortunately, advances in medical care have led to the widespread availability of artificial hips, artificial knees and other medical devices. Having one of these devices surgically implanted in our bodies can make our lives much more enjoyable as we age.

Unfortunately, if there is anything wrong with a medical device once it is in our body, we can be left in terrible pain — perhaps even worse than before the surgery. And, to repair the problem, we will need another surgery to remove and replace the faulty device.

Defective shoulder system

This problem has been faced by many people who received artificial hips, artificial knees and other devices. Sometimes, the defects with these devices are so small or hard to discover that they are not detected until they have already been implanted in hundreds or even thousands of patients.

Recently, the FDA issued a warning about artificial shoulder joints that were rendered defective because of ineffective packaging. The device, known as the Equinoxe Shoulder System, was marketed from 2004-2021 as a way to replace joints that were damaged through arthritis and other ailments.

Unfortunately, at least some of the devices were packaged in bags that were not airproof. This left the devices vulnerable to oxidation, which can damage the devices, shortening their useful lives and causing pain for the patients. If the problems are bad enough, they can necessitate new surgery to remove and replace a device.

Medical device products liability

Those who are injured due to defective medical devices may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim on the basis of products liability.

This area of the law is based in state and federal statutes that hold businesses responsible for products they put into the marketplace. If their defective product injures a person, they can be held liable for the injured person’s damages. These damages may include their pain and suffering as well as their medical costs related to the defective device.

In some ways, products liability is quite broad. Not only is the manufacturer potentially liable, but so are the sellers and marketers of the device. Generally, the injured person does not have to prove that any of these parties were negligent, only that the device was defective.

However, this does not mean that it’s easy for an injured person to win one of these cases. Products liability claims require experienced advice and skilled representation.

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