Defective Medical Devices and Recalls

By Peter DePaolis

Product Liability Attorneys Representing Victims of Defective Medical Devices And Recalls


surgeons operatingMedical devices such as pacemakers, artificial joints and other implants are meant to improve your health and quality of life. However, if these products are defective, they can instead cause injuries and possibly wrongful death. Often, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalls these defective products. But unlike other recalled products, it can be difficult and costly to return or exchange a defective medical device. Recalled implants, for example, may require additional surgery and potentially lengthy recovery times.

If you need a medical implant or device, you trust that it will improve your health. When negligent manufacturing companies violate that trust, you may be able to hold them accountable for the damage they cause. If you or a loved one was injured by a defective or recalled medical device, our product liability lawyers may be able to help. Our personal injury attorneys have helped victims fight large corporations and small businesses alike, and have obtained many favorable verdicts and settlements for our clients. No matter what medical device injured you, we have the experience necessary to help you get justice and compensation from the responsible party.

Common Types of Defective Medical Devices

Research continues to improve the medical field through new technological advancements in medical implants as well as other devices. However, when manufacturing companies neglect to fully test new devices or rush them onto the market, dangerous product defects can result. Some common types of these defective products include:

  • Pacemakers. These devices correct your heart rhythm. A product defect can cause a pacemaker to malfunction, leading to a heart attack, dangerously low heart rate or wrongful death.
  • Artificial hips and knees. Infections and implant failure are the most common results of defects in artificial joints. In recent years, the companies Stryker, Biomet and DePuy have all recalled medical devices used in hip replacements.
  • Artificial heart valves. Like pacemakers, artificial heart valves are essential to keeping cardiac patients alive. If a valve is defective, it may leak, causing serious health issues or wrongful death.
  • Breast implants. Silicone-filled breast implants are particularly notorious for design defects which can cause them to leak or rupture.
  • Stents. These implants help expand narrow blood vessels around the heart. By design, drug-coated stents should prevent the buildup of scar tissue. However, these drugs can lead to an increased clotting risk, which can cause cardiac arrest.
  • Surgical robots. Some delicate surgeries require the use of specialized robotic devices. Product defects can cause these machines to malfunction, causing serious wounds and infections. Well-publicized recalls of these devices include the da Vinci Surgical System recall.
  • Medical machines. Dialysis machines and computers that monitor patients’ vital signs are just two of the many mechanical devices hospitals use every day. Defects can result in any number of problems, from overdoses to misdiagnoses.
  • Birth control implants. Dangerous design defects have been found in Mirena, Nuvaring, and Essure birth control implants.

Who is Responsible for the Injuries Caused by Medical Device Defects?

The creation and distribution of a single medical product may be the end result of many different people and companies. This means that your personal injury case for product liability could also involve medical malpractice and other negligence claims. Those responsible for defective medical devices may include:

  • Manufacturing company. Most often, a medical device fails because of a design defect, as opposed to a manufacturing or labeling error. This generally means that the company that developed the device neglected proper testing procedures.
  • Testing company. Often, manufacturing companies will contract out their product testing to another company. If a design defect caused your injury, the testing lab may also be liable.
  • Doctor. All medical devices carry some health risks, and your doctor is required to inform you about all of these. If he or she fails to do so, this may constitute medical malpractice. As a result, you may include your doctor in your product liability case.
  • Hospital. Depending on the type of defect that caused your injury, the hospital where you received treatment may also be liable.

Even if the medical device itself is not physically defective, injuries may still occur as a result of negligent advertising or medical advice. Manufacturing companies and distributors must inform hospitals and doctors of any risks associated with their products. This can include information about who should not use the device, and when it could cause damage.

Injured by a Defective Medical Device? Call Our Product Liability Attorneys  in the Washington DC Area Today

Defective products, especially defective medical devices, can not only cause serious injuries but could end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional medical bills. However, our Maryland product liability attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries, or a loved one’s wrongful death. Product liability cases can not only help you pay your additional expenses, but they can also help keep others from injury.

If you or a loved one was injured by a defective or recalled medical device, contact our attorneys in Washington, D.C. today. Fill out an online case review form or call one of our product defect lawyers to schedule a free consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.