Who Is Liable for Medical Device Injuries?
You expect the medical devices you use to help improve your health, not harm it. Hearing aids, heart stents, and more are all prone to error. These errors can be caused by a doctor’s mistake, a hospital oversight, and even a manufacturer innaccuracy. If you find yourself hurt after using a medical device, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages.
Medical devices are engineered to improve a patient’s quality of life. However, these devices are sometimes defective and can cause a patient to suffer from serious injuries and even death. Since it can be difficult to determine who is liable for medical device injuries, it is imperative for anyone hurt by a medical device to seek legal representation. If you find yourself asking, “who is liable for medical device injuries,” you should employ the help of a skilled Ohio personal injury attorney right away.
If you or someone you love has been hurt by a defective medical device, you should reach out to an experienced Ohio product liability attorney from Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW. We will assess your case, educate you on common personal injury FAQ, and may be able to recover compensation for your damages.
How are Medical Devices Defined?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a medical device is an instrument, apparatus, machine, or similar article that includes a part that is intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure a disease, as well as physically influence the function or structure of the human body.
Medical devices almost always require routine checks and maintenance to ensure they are functioning properly. In addition, devices that need to be implanted in a patient’s body must be monitored on a regular basis. Even when medical devices are cared for and monitored correctly, they can unfortunately injure a patient because of a defect.
Types of Medical Devices
There are a wide variety of medical devices on the market today. Some of the most common types of medical devices that may cause injury or death if found defective include:
- Pacemakers and defibrillators- Small implanted devices that help control abnormal heart rhythms are known as pacemakers and defibrillators.
- Hearing aids- Hearing aids are devices that are worn in or behind the ears that pick up and amplify sound to improve hearing.
- Breast implants- Saline-filled or silicone gel-filled, breast implants are used to alter the size, shape, and contour of a woman’s breasts.
- Contraceptive devices- Contraceptive devices such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) are designed to prevent pregnancy.
- Hip implants- Hip implants are necessary for patients undergoing hip replacement surgery.
- Insulin pumps- Insulin pumps are devices that are used to administer insulin in order to treat diabetes and manage blood sugar.
- Heart stents- Heart stents assist in keeping coronary arteries open and can reduce the risk of a heart attack.
- Transvaginal mesh- Transvaginal mesh is a net-like implant that is used to treat women who are suffering from urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Types of Injuries Caused by Defective Medical Devices
The types of injuries defective medical devices cause depend on the type of device and the way it is used. Some examples of the types of injuries that defective medical devices may cause include:
- Organ loss
- Allergic reaction
- Heart attack
- Tissue or bone damage
- Chronic pain
- Permanent disability
The Role of the FDA in Medical Device Development
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for protecting the public from any hazards that a defective medical device may cause. Despite the FDA’s lengthy approval process and clinical trials, flawed medical devices are still introduced to the market. Ultimately, the manufacturer of the device as well as the associated parties are liable for defective medical devices. The following parties may be held liable for defective medical devices that make their way to the market:
- The designer
- The manufacturer
- A medical sales representative
- A testing facility
- A pharmacy or medical supplier
- A doctor
- A hospital, clinic, or another medical facility
Proving a Defective Medical Device & Determining Liability
When proving a medical device as defective, design, manufacturing, and marketing flaws must be properly identified. Design flaws may occur because a medical device was manufactured properly, but contains serious design issues that cause injury. Design flaws may also arise because a device worked well for a while, but eventually deteriorated and injured its users.
If a medical device was not manufactured properly, a manufacturing flaw may exist. In the event a certain medical device was falsely marketed and/or there were no warnings, there may be a marketing flaw.
Once a medical device has been proven to be defective, it is important to determine who is liable for its defects and flaws. To determine liability, you must demonstrate that the manufacturer, distributor, or another party had a duty of care, breached their duty of care, caused injury because of the breach, and that there was a relationship between the breach and injury.
Our Ohio product liability attorneys can prove that your medical device is defective and determine who should be held liable. If you have a valid product liability case, we may pursue compensation on your behalf for the following:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick
If you’ve sustained an injury or lost a loved one due to a defective medical device, you should contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick to speak to one of our highly skilled Ohio product liability attorneys. After a thorough case investigation, we can inform you whether you have a valid product liability claim and determine who should be held liable for your damages.