Who Can Be Held Liable for Injuries Caused by a Defective Medical Device?

By Peter DePaolis

Consumers have a right to expect the products they purchase to be safe to use for their intended purpose. They do not expect a product to cause injury and harm. Unfortunately, millions of people are injured and killed each year by dangerous and defective products. If a defective medical device injured you, you could be entitled to compensation under Virginia’s product liability laws. A Virginia product liability attorney can help you file a claim.

What Parties Are Liable for Injuries Caused by a Defective Medical Device in Virginia?

Medical devices are supposed to help heal or treat injuries and illnesses. Some medical devices are intended to improve a person’s quality of life. They are not supposed to cause additional injuries and harm.

One or more parties could be liable for damages caused by defective medical devices. It depends on the specific circumstances and facts of the case. 

Potential defendants in a defective medical device lawsuit include, but are not limited to:

  • The original designer of the medical device
  • Medical device manufacturers
  • Distributors and sellers of medical devices
  • Retailers, sales personnel, and others involved in the distribution chain
  • A doctor or hospital who used a defective medical device
  • A medical provider who failed to warn you about the risks of using a medical device
  • Testing and inspection facilities 

A medical device does not need to be recalled for you to file a product liability claim. You can sue the responsible parties even though the product has been approved as safe to use.

Proving Liability for a Defective Medical Device in Virginia 

Most states hold medical device manufacturers and other parties strictly liable for damages if the device causes someone to be injured. The injured party does not need to prove negligence to win the case.

However, Virginia is one of a handful of states that does not recognize strict liability for a defective medical device claim. Instead, you must prove negligence or breach of warranty to win a product liability claim.

For negligence claims, you must prove the following legal elements:

  • The party owed you a duty of care
  • They breached the duty of care
  • Their conduct as the direct and proximate cause of your injury
  • You incurred damages because of the breach of duty

A medical device can be defective in its design, manufacture, or marketing. Your evidence of negligence must convince a jury that there is more than a 50% chance that your allegations are factual. In other words, there is a greater chance that the other party caused your injury than not.

You have a limited time to file a product liability claim under Virginia’s statute of limitations. Investigating defective medical devices can take time. It is best to contact a Virginia personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an injury to protect your rights. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Product liability claims are complicated personal injury cases. Our Virginia personal injury lawyers at Koonz McKenney Johnson DePaulis have extensive experience representing clients injured by defective products. Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss how we can help you recover compensation for your damages and losses.

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.