Each year, many people are injured using defective products. But what if that product is something that your life depends on, such as a medical device? That’s where the real problem comes into play and you have to ask yourself, “Where should I turn? What should I do?” The truth of the matter is – if you have been injured due to a defective medical device, then you may have a liability claim against a defendant.
Medical devices are actually regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees all products that hit the markets and makes the public aware of any defects involved in them. Regulations may be particularly complex depending on the usage and potential dangers surrounding the product. As an example, a thermometer used for indicating temperature might have minimal regulations, while a pacemaker used to keep somebody alive may be very heavily regulated.
Types of Defective Product Claims
- Defectively Manufactured Medical Devices: These devices were either improperly manufactured or damages. These products can be created as a result of an error at a facility, a problem with the shipping, or an error that occurs at the hospital. You must consider the chain of distribution in your case.
- Medical Devices With a Defective Design: These devices were properly manufactured but have dangerous designs. These devices could have been on the market for a long time but the device may have broken down in some way. Sometimes the manufacturer was aware of the danger but concealed it or delayed taking the product from shelves.
- Defectively Marketed Medical Devices: Marketing is a recommendation or a warning concerning the use of the device. This could include a failure to provide adequate or accurate warnings or instructions regarding safe use. This advice could have been given by a doctor, hospital, or other medical provider.
Identifying Potential Case Defendants
- Manufacturer: Manufacturers are usually large companies. This could be a good thing in some cases, and in other cases it could be a bad thing if the manufacturing company has high-priced lawyers on the case.
- Testing Laboratory: These include any laboratories that performed tests on the medical device.
- Medical Sales Representative: These are people who meet with doctors and other members of a medical community to make recommendations about the current product. They may be held liable if they recommended the medical device that caused your injuries.
- Doctor: These doctors may be found liable if they failed to warn you of potential dangers or instructions regarding the medical device.
- Hospital/Clinic: Hospitals or clinics can sometimes be part of the chain of distribution for a product. They may be liable for any injuries.
- Retail Supplier: If you have obtained a medical device that injured you from a pharmacy, drug store, or other supplier, then the retailer was the final point in the chain of distribution.
What Challenges Could You Face in a Claim?
If a device has injured you, then you should always keep the device in the same condition that it was at time of your injury. This is, of course, if it is possible to do so. If the device is tinkered with or somehow disappears, it will be very difficult to win a case of products liability. The lawsuit might be dismissed if the product was interfered with in any way. However, if the product was an internal device, a surgeon may have removed it from the patient and thrown it away as “medical waste.” If there are not detailed records on the product, it may still be difficult to win a claim.
If you believe that a medical device has caused your serious injuries, then you may have a case of products liability. The question of the matter is, who do you file suit against? Potential defendants may be difficult to identify, which is why you may want to consult a lawyer that you trust. Call WTW in California to have your case settled and get the compensation you deserve!