Medical Device Recalls and Product Liability Lawsuits
It is astonishing to learn how many people in the United States alone rely on medical devices and prescription medications each day. More than half of the people over the age of 55 count on medications, and almost as many depend on medical devices in some way or another. This is why it is shocking to discover how often faulty design, defects, and poor manufacturing methods occur.
While we might think that something as important as a joint replacement, catheter, or surgical device will be tested to an extreme degree before being put to use in the consumer market, the reality is that medical device recalls occur all of the time. These recalls have to happen when the FDA discovers that a medication or a medical device is leading to harmful side effects.
The most upsetting problem with so many of the medical device recalls is that they occur a long time after the device or defective medication has been at use in the general population. It often takes time to see that a hip replacement is failing, a breast implant is leaking, or a device causes cancer to spread through the body. And while those things sound uncommonly bad, they are actually reasons that medical device recalls have occurred.
The Diversity of Medical Device Recalls
Medical devices range from tools used by surgeons to things implanted inside of the human body and meant to repair or reduce the symptoms of a range of conditions. When they don’t cure the problem but instead cause more problems, the outcome is often further surgeries and even worsening health. Unfortunately, the manufacturers are responsible for alerting the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) when things are going wrong, but many might hesitate until the data proves that it is a widespread problem and not just a random flaw.
This, however, is seen as negligence if the risks are not reported in a timely manner and more people are injured or harmed in some way. And when there is negligence around medical device recalls, lawsuits will arise.
For example, if you were a patient who received a transvaginal mesh after childbirth or because of another health concern, you may not have been aware of the complications and problems that certain brands caused. The FDA recalled several brands once it became clear that within a year of surgery, scores of women were in need of secondary surgeries to resolve issues or treat new problems caused by the device.
Certain firms waited far too long to contact the FDA and get them to issue medical device recalls, and because of this there are now class action and individual lawsuits against manufacturers. The validity of the claims is obvious, but the women in the lawsuits still have to prove that their injuries were due to the medical device, and that the maker was negligent for not alerting physicians and the public sooner.
Clearly, this means that almost anyone harmed by medical devices that have been recalled will have a legal claim for damages. After all, most patients that have had devices inserted or used them on a physicians recommendation, will also have to have some ongoing or chronic medical care to overcome the problems caused. No one should have to foot the bill for a medical device manufacturer’s negligence.
If you, or a loved one, suffered injury from a medical device that was recalled, you should meet with product liability and personal injury lawyers to discuss your case. There may already be a larger, class action lawsuit being developed, but you may also be someone who begins to build a case of their own against a negligent manufacturer.
YourLawyer.com. Transvaginal Mesh Side Effects. 2015. http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/american-medical-systems-ams-transvaginal-mesh-erosion-side-effect-lawsuit