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Medical Product Liability

Product Liability · Feb 17, 2021

Seema Madhavan

Seema MadhavanCase Manager

People often use medical products to improve their health but such interventions are not always successful. A defective medical product may do more harm than good. A medical product liability lawsuit can be brought up if a medical product does not perform as it is supposed to and injures the consumer.

The injured party may have a cause of action to sue the manufacturer of the product, the manufacturer of a certain part of the product, and sometimes even the product's seller. Medical product liability differs from medical negligence because the injury is caused by a product defect and not a doctor’s deviation from the standard of care.

Defective Medical Device

It is expected that a medical device performs as it is intended to. Deviation from the intended performance may entitle the consumer to a medical product liability lawsuit.

Medical products that are more susceptible to failing include those that have electrical connections or a computer within them. Electrical malfunctions can lead to glitches in the system that can ultimately lead to injury.

Unfortunately, technology isn't always designed to the proper extent and may cause mistakes that can potentially harm the user. Products that have many positives, but can also easily cause injury due to a single glitch, are Robotic Surgical Systems. They allow surgeons to limit their hand movement and be more precise. Although they are said to have a 3-D high-definition view of the inside of the patient’s body, they do have their risks. If injury was caused by a defect or glitch in the surgical system, a lawsuit may arise.

Product Injury

Defective products may be defective in their (1) design, (2) manufacturing, or (3) marketing.

Design defects imply that the product’s design was defective initially. This means that all products created with this specific design have a defect within them. It is possible that a product can be on the market for quite some time before it causes serious injury.

An example of this happened when a patient went into cardiac arrest. He suffered from a genetic disease and used a medical device that was supposed to shock his heart. However, the device short-circuited that day and failed to shock his heart which ultimately caused his death.

The manufacturer of this device was aware of the electrical problems in its defibrillators for roughly three years prior to the accident, but the device was still sold on the market. If you have ever been negatively affected by a design defect of this sort, contact an attorney right away to see whether you can file a lawsuit based on product liability.

Manufacturing defects in products are usually caused by improper construction or production.

Unlike design defects, manufacturing defects do not render the whole line defective. Instead, only one or two products may have a defect due to error or negligence when assembling the product.

A product may suffer a manufacturing defect on its way to a customer. For example, if a company is in charge of shipping multiple electronic medical devices, and one of the packages was not carefully handled, it can cause the device in that package to be harmed and may cause a glitch when used by the consumer, ultimately leading to an injury.

Marketing defects may arise when a proper warning was not given on the device as to how to safely use it. If the manufacturer in some way doesn’t notify the users regarding the dangers of the product, they can be held liable for an injury that may arise. An example would be if there was no warning label regarding the hidden dangers of a medical device. If harm was caused, you may be entitled to compensation.

Suing a Medical Device Company

When suing based on medical product liability, there are many parties that can be liable depending on the specific circumstances. Manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers are usually the most common defendants in these cases.

Other defendants may include testing laboratories, medical facilities, or individual doctors. Since the product must go through a rigorous procedure from level to level to end up in the market, there can be numerous people/companies that were liable for the injury that the product ultimately ended up causing when reaching the consumer.

Suing a medical device company may require strong legal knowledge to find out who is at fault and how you may be compensated for, contact an attorney today!

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