Defective Medical Device
Huntsville Defective Medical Device Injury Lawyers
Skilled representation for Alabama injury clients in medical product liability claims
Whether it was an artificial hip, a malfunctioning implanted defibrillator, or a hernia repair which is causing you the agonizing pain of perforated organs and other symptoms, a defective medical device can cause a great amount of pain, illness, and require revision surgeries to repair the damage. At Martin & Helms, we fight for clients in Alabama who have sustained life-altering injuries from dangerous medical devices. Contact us in Huntsville today to learn how we can help.
The truth about dangerous medical devices
Last fall, an organization called the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) conducted a year-long investigation of the medical device industry. They produced a scathing report which revealed that defective medical devices were responsible for more than 83,000 deaths and 1.7 million injuries in the last decade around the world. The report found that the FDA approved many devices with little or no clinical testing and rarely pulled problem devices off the market. In response to the report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that it was going to take steps to improve its oversight of medical devices.
Examples of defective medical devices which have caused injury
- 3M Combat Arms Earplugs were issued to members of the U.S. military between 2003 and 2015. They failed to protect service members’ hearing and now many who used these earplugs are suffering from tinnitus and hearing loss.
- Artificial hip implants, some of which were recalled because of a high failure rate, infections, metallosis and other complications.
- Vaginal mesh implants, used for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, caused complications such as bleeding, pain, and perforation of organs.
- Hernia mesh implants can cause pain, infection, adhesions, bowel obstruction, organ perforation, and other complications.
- Spinal cord stimulators are implanted near the spine and send electrical currents to block the pain signals from reaching the brain as an alternative to opioid pain medications. These devices are responsible for 500 deaths and 80,000 injuries since 2008. (Pain News Network)
- Essure birth control devices have been reported to allow unintended pregnancy and then miscarriage, autoimmune diseases, pain, bleeding, and perforated organs.
- Power morcellators are devices used to shred fibroids and tissue so that they can be removed during laparoscopic surgery. However, if the tissue is pre-cancerous, it can spread bits of the tissue throughout the abdominal cavity and significantly increase the risk of cancer.
- Surgical robots that malfunction can cause perforated organs, surgical fires, and other complications that cause injury and death to patients.
- IVC filters, which can break apart sending tiny metal fragments throughout the patient’s body causing organ perforation and death.
The ICIJ has developed an International Medical Device Database, which includes more than 70,000 recalled medical devices, safety alerts, and field safety notices which have been executed in 11 countries. Users can search the database by device name, manufacturer, or country. The FDA also has its own list of medical device recalls.
Can a recall affect my defective medical device claim?
Either the FDA or the product's manufacturer can issue a safety recall for a medical device. The manufacturer must notify patients who are affected by the recall and publish information about the recall, and whether it is just a warning about possible dangers, or if the device might need to be replaced. If you are suffering from injuries caused by a defective medical device, and then you find out that the device has been recalled for the same issues that caused your injury, you might think that you have hit the jackpot, and that the fact that the product is being recalled for safety reasons means that your case will be open and shut.
Unfortunately, that is not how it works. Just because a product has been recalled does not make the manufacturer automatically liable for your injuries. You will still be required to prove that the product was defective, and that the product's defect was the direct cause of your injury. In some cases, the fact that a defective medical device has been recalled may be withheld from the jury so as not to prejudice their thinking in deliberations.
Examples of different types of injuries from defective medical devices
Some of the injuries that can occur with defective medical devices include:
- Heart attack
- Recurrence of the medical condition the device was implanted to correct
- Damage to nearby organs and tissues
- Other systemic health problems
- Permanent disability
- Significantly decreased quality of life
Many times, people with faulty or defective medical devices are forced to undergo revision surgeries to either correct the defect, or to have the device removed. This not only puts the patient at-risk, but these procedures may not be covered by insurance, either.
Claiming damages in a medical product liability case
When a defective medical device causes a serious injury, you can make a claim for:
- Medical expenses related to the injury from the past, present, and future
- Wage losses related to the time you lost at work while recuperating from your injuries
- Emotional distress caused by the injury or adverse health condition
- Pain and suffering from the injury itself
- Disability when the injury interferes with your ability to work
- Other losses
How does my defective product injury lawyer get paid?
Our Huntsville product liability lawyers take cases on contingency, so unlike other legal specializations, we do not ask for a sizeable retainer up front before we will begin working on your case. We advance the costs of pursuing your case, and then only after we have recovered compensation for you, we get paid as a percentage of your total settlement or jury award.
If you or someone important to you has been injured because of a defective medical device, you may have grounds for legal action. Schedule a free consultation and sit down with us to discuss your product liability case.
Work with an experienced Huntsville product liability lawyer who will fight for you
If you have been injured because of a defective medical device, the trusted Huntsville product liability lawyers at Martin & Helms are here to pursue justice on your behalf. You are encouraged to call us at 256-539-1990 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a dangerous medical device lawyer today. We also serve injured clients in Decatur, Athens and Madison, and throughout the state.