As technology advances the practice of modern medicine, medical devices have become increasingly common and incredibly sophisticated. Various devices aim to save lives and improve quality of life. Sometimes, however, the improper use of a medical device or a defective medical device can put patients at greater risk.
When you or a loved one experiences complications or further injury as a result of the implementation or use of a medical device, there may exist one of a number of causes of action for a lawsuit. These causes of action include products liability claims associated with defective medical devices and medical malpractice claims based on improper selection, installation, or monitoring of a medical device.
Medical Device Products Liability
A defective or improper medical device may give rise to a products liability claim arise under the Louisiana Products Liability Act, La. R.S. § 9:2800.51, et seq., under one of the following circumstances:
- When the medical device has a manufacturing defect, such as a defect in composition;
- When the medical device has a defect in design;
- When the medical device did not include sufficient instructions or warnings; or
- When the medical device does not perform in accordance with express warranties made by the manufacturer.
Medical devices are supposed to undergo rigorous testing and trials to ensure that the benefits of the device outweigh its risks and to ensure that the device is safe. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for reviewing testing data and approving these devices for consumer use. Sometimes, device manufacturers will “piggy back” new devices on the FDA approvals of prior similar devices, resulting in little testing before a new medical device hits the market. Mass medical device litigation is often spurred by warnings or recalls of the device from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Common Medical Devices in Litigation
Any medical device can give rise to complications. If those complications were caused in whole or in part by a recognizable defect, you may have a claim. Common medical devices giving rise to claims for injury include these and other devices:
- IV units
- Heart valves
- Dialysis machines
- Surgical screws or plates
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Surgical, prosthetic or cosmetic implants
- Joint prostheses, such as hip and knee replacement prosthetic implants.
Types of Damages in a Medical Device Case
Damages vary in every case, and the harm suffered by each plaintiff may differ significantly. Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, however, the following damages may be awarded in your medical device products liability case, among others:
- Past, present, and future mental, physical, and emotional pain and suffering;
- Wrongful death damages;
- Past lost wages and loss of earnings capacity;
- Past and future medical bills; and
- Other out of pocket expenses associated with your injuries.
Proving Your Medical Device Products Liability Case
Federal law may insulate manufacturers of the medical devices from liability in certain circumstances. For that reason, the testing, reporting, and performance statistics of medical devices is often a central issue to medical device litigation.
Complicating matters further, discovering and establishing the defect(s) in a medical device commonly requires sophisticated expert inspection, evaluation, and analysis. Additional expert testimony may be required in certain cases to establish a patient’s damages, particularly when the patient has suffered long-term or permanent injury, or when a death has occurred. Expert analysis and testimony can be extremely time consuming and expensive.
For those reasons, it is important to choose the right lawyers to represent you in your medical device products liability claim. Mansfield Melancon attorneys have the knowledge and resources to properly identify potential causes of action for your medical device case, to select and work with the right experts, and to build your strongest case against the medical device manufacturer. Our attorneys will also work closely with you and your medical treatment providers to ensure your condition and rehabilitation is properly diagnosed and documented.
Additional Medical Device Statistics and Resources:
Schedule a Free, No-Obligation Consultation with a Defective Medical Equipment Injury Lawyer at Mansfield Melancon today!
If you or a loved one has been injured by defective medical equipment, the personal injury attorneys at Mansfield Melancon can help. We are committed to guiding the people whom we represent through the legal process with experience and personal attention.
Our firm also has a strong track record of getting optimal results for our clients.
Our offices are conveniently located in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Call us or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer. You can reach us at our New Orleans location at 504-500-1108, our Baton Rouge location at 225-612-0800, or our Lafayette location at 337-409-0003.