Medical Device Errors

People rely on medical devices every day to treat complex medical conditions. While many patients see positive results from the use of these devices, like any technology, errors can occur. When these errors occur, a patient may suffer serious complications or even death.

Challenges in Medical Device Error Cases

Cases involving defective medical devices and medical device errors can be difficult, because the Supreme Court of the United States has held that certain medical device manufacturers and medical devices themselves are protected from lawsuits if they have gone through the Food and Drug Administration premarket approval process. The FDA has established standards that medical device manufacturers must follow when creating a product, as well as how to properly label and warn of potential problems, but occasionally medical devices still reach the market with defects. If a product reaches the market with a defect, the FDA will issue a product recall. A list of the current medical device recalls is available here.

Some of the most commonly used medical devices include the following:

  • Pacemakers
  • Shunts
  • IUDs
  • Ventilators
  • Breast Implants
  • Hip and Knee Replacements*
  • Dialysis Filters
  • Stents

These are also some of the devices that have historically experienced the most defects.

What Type of Claim Results From an Error With a Medical Device?

The typical type of claim that will come from an error in a medical device will be a product liability claim. Generally, in Illinois, a product liability case can proceed under two principle theories: negligence and strict liability. In negligence cases, the person who is injured must show a manufacturer or seller of a product had a duty to the injured person, that this duty was breached by the seller or the manufacturer and that the seller or manufacturer’s breach of duty was the cause of the injury and resulted in damages. Strict liability, on the other hand, requires only that the injured person show that the product harmed someone. The distinction between a products liability case for a defective medical device and an action for medical practice may be cloudy, but a lawyer that has experience in dealing with both types of cases can help determine which cause of action that should be pursued.

Our team has over 130 years combined experience in personal injury matters, including lawsuits involving faulty medical devices. Victims of defective medical products can recover damages for their injuries or the wrongful death of a family member. If you or a loved one has suffered serious complications or died as a result of a medical device error, our Chicago personal injury lawyers may be able to help you receive fair compensation. For a FREE consultation call 877-374-1417 or 312–332–2872 or contact us online.

*In August 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a division of Johnson & Johnson, recalled over 90,000 DePuy ASR hip replacement systems due to their high failure rates. Patients who received these hip implants may have a case that entitles them to compensation. Contact us to discuss your potential DePuy hip implant recall lawsuit.

Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog - Medical Devices
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