Medical devices are relied upon by doctors and patients alike to work in predictable, effective ways. When a medical device fails to do so because of a defect, severe consequences can occur to a patient’s health. If you or a loved one were injured by a defective medical device, it can be difficult to figure out who is liable for the injuries or damages caused by that defect and how to proceed with pursuing compensation.
It’s important to note that there are three specific types of defective product claims involving medical devices:
- Defectively manufactured medical devices: Manufacturing defects occur when a medical device designed to work a certain way fails to do so. Manufacturing defects often occur as a result of flaws in the manufacturing process, shipping process, or any other error which occurs between the manufacturer and the medical facility where the injury occurred.
- Medical devices with a defective design: Defective design occurs when the design of the medical device itself is defective in nature, making the product unsafe to use. Medical devices with this defect were produced properly by the manufacturer, but present inherently unacceptable risks to patients or medical staff even when manufactured correctly.
- Defectively marketed medical devices: The marketing of a medical device refers to any recommendations, instructions, or warnings that were included with the product. When important instructions or warnings were not included with a medical device and injuries occurred as a result, this is considered a defectively marketed medical device. It is subject to the same product liability claims as any product with another type of defect.
Depending on the nature and origin of the defect, multiple parties could be liable in a defective medical device case, including:
- A manufacturer that allowed a medical device to be shipped out with one or more of the defects listed above.
- A testing laboratory if insufficient testing resulted in a dangerous oversight or defect in the product.
- A sales representative who knowingly sold a defective medical device.
- A doctor who knowingly used a defective medical device.
- A hospital that knowingly stocked a defective medical device.
- A retail supplier that failed to pull a recalled or defective medical device from their shelves
In some cases, multiple parties could be held liable for the damages incurred from an injury caused by a defective medical device.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective medical device, it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel.
While the majority of medical personnel are highly trained and committed individuals, when errors or negligence occur in the medical community, there have been proven oversights that require injured parties to get involved in the litigation process on their own behalf. Taking legal action after being injured by a defective medical device can protect others from suffering in the same situation.
Lawsuits that involve defective medical devices can be complicated to document and pursue. As mentioned above, these cases often involve multiple parties that could be liable, so it’s a good idea to seek legal advice when considering filing a product liability claim due to injuries caused by a defective medical device.