Defective Drugs and Medical Devices

Patients expect medical devices and prescribed medication to be safe. Unfortunately, like other consumer products, medical devices and prescription drugs can have defects or dangerous side effects that put you at risk of injury or death. If you or a loved one is injured because of defective medical devices or drugs, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. A lawsuit can hold someone responsible for your injuries and help you get compensation.

The time limits for product liability and personal injury lawsuits are different in every state. To make sure you file your claim on time, talk to a personal injury lawyer near you who handles defective drug cases to get legal advice about your case.

What Are Defective Drugs and Medical Devices?

Manufacturers are responsible for making sure their products are safe for use when putting them on the market. For example, if a car manufacturer installs defective airbags, they can be held liable when a defective airbag causes an injury.

Unfortunately, medications and medical devices are recalled every year for causing accidents, injuries, and even wrongful death. These defects can end up injuring thousands of patients before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues a recall.

A lawsuit for injuries caused by a defective product is known as a product liability claim. This allows the injury victim to pursue financial compensation from the medical device manufacturers, distributors, or sellers of defective medical products.

Product Liability Claims

A product liability lawsuit seeks to hold product manufacturers liable for defective products that cause injury. You only have to show the product is defective and not safe to use. Anyone in the chain of commerce can be held liable for defective products, from the company that manufactured the product to the store that sold it.

Product liability cases generally fall into one of three areas:

  • Design defects
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Failure to warn

Design Defects

In a design defect case, the danger is inherent in the way the product was designed. You can show the design is defective if there is a safer alternative design. An example of a design defect in medical devices could include metal-on-metal Stryker hip implants that shave off metal fragments that can injure the hip replacement patient.

Manufacturing Defects

A manufacturing defect involves a safe design but there is a problem with the way the product was manufactured. Failing to do quality control or changing manufacturing materials for cheaper goods can lead to manufacturing defects. An example of a manufacturing defect in prescription drugs could involve failure to maintain a sanitized production environment. A dirty laboratory could lead to intravenous drugs being contaminated by bacteria, putting a patient at risk of serious harm.

Failure to Warn

Warning defects involve failure to warn users about the unexpected risks or dangers of using the product. Products generally don’t have to include warnings about obvious risks. For example, a medical device warning defect might include a failure to warn patients about their pacemaker getting too close to strong magnetic fields.

Defective Medication Injuries

Dozens of new prescription medications are developed and approved by the FDA every year. FDA approval means that a review of the drug data shows the drug provides benefits that outweigh known and potential risks. However, there could be long-term risks that only become clear after patients begin taking the drugs. Design, manufacturing, and warning defects can be caused by:

  • Falsifying clinical data
  • Unsterile products
  • Incorrect labeling
  • Undeclared ingredients
  • Contamination

In some cases, pharmaceutical companies know about risks but downplay them, putting profits before people. If you suffered adverse side effects or a loved one suffered serious injuries because of a dangerous drug, talk to a defective medicine lawyer for advice.

Defective Medical Devices

According to the FDA, a medical device is “an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including a component part, or accessory” that is used in health care.

Any medical implant or device could have defects, from the simplest design of a surgical screw to a complex artificial heart valve. Examples of dangerous medical devices could include:

  • Hernia mesh
  • Transvaginal mesh
  • Hip implants
  • Breast implants
  • Defibrillators
  • Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter
  • Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD)
  • Knee implant
  • Stents

It may take hundreds of patients or doctors reporting defective medical devices before the FDA does an investigation and recall. Class I recalls mean there is a reasonable chance the product will cause serious health problems or death. If you have an implanted medical device you can check the FDA website to see if it is subject to an FDA recall.

How Can a Medical Defect Lawyer Help?

Defective medical device and medication lawyers can represent you in a defective product claim to get money for your injuries. In a medical device lawsuit, you and your family members can get damages for any losses, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

Experienced product liability lawyers understand what it takes to take on insurance companies and medical device companies. Defective medical device attorneys can give you a free case evaluation to understand your rights and legal options to recover compensation. They can also negotiate a settlement to help you get financial compensation after an injury caused by dangerous drugs.

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