Any type of medical equipment, including prosthetic devices, surgical implants, medical appliances, surgical equipment, hearing aids, visual aids, hospital supplies, or diagnostic tools that causes injury to someone due to a defect in its design or manufacture is subject to product liability law. Defective medical product cases, however, have their own challenges and particularities.
The statute of limitations, or the time within which a lawsuit may be filed, for example, poses a heavier burden in these types of cases over that of other consumer products. The reason for this is that awareness of an injury caused by defective medical products can take place long after the injury actually took place. By then, the statute of limitations may have elapsed.
For instance, a patient may have been fitted with a defective pacemaker but not known about it until undergoing surgery years later. If the statute of limitations began when the pacemaker was fitted, the patient may have no recourse with regard to recovering any resulting damages. For this reason, most states now have a discovery rule in which the statute of limitations does not begin until the injury was discovered by the patient.
Another problem with defective medical device cases is that it can be difficult to determine if the lawsuit is in effect a product liability case or a case for medical malpractice. If the plaintiff holds the manufacturer responsible, the manufacturer may counter that he or she had met their obligations by warning the health care practitioners involved about the risks of the product, so the responsibility for the injury should lie with them. A manufacturer’s defense can also be strengthened if he or she complied with FDA regulations despite the undesired outcome due to the use of their defective medical product.
Medical product liability cases are often complex due to these challenges. For the best chance of winning your case, you should consult with a qualified defective medical product attorney.
Contact our Personal Injury Lawyers and Attorneys today to find an experienced Defective Medical Product attorney near you.