Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers usually cooperate with the FDA to show they are addressing a product defect and taking the situation seriously. What about the people who have already been harmed by the negligence of the manufacturers?
Defective medical devices can cause serious injury, improper treatments, physical disfigurement, or death. If you or a member of your family have been injured by a dangerous medical device, Morelli Law Firm can help you take legal action. Our Clifton defective medical device attorneys are ready to fight for your right to compensation.
Why Are There So Many Defective Medical Devices?
Medical science produces wonderful results every day with new technology designed to ease pain, aid diagnosis, prolong life, or treat disease. Unfortunately, many medical devices make it to market with poor testing and study, defective design or manufacture, or inadequate warnings of the danger, leaving trusting patients and consumers at risk for serious injuries or death.
Reasons for Medical Device Failure
Clinical trials are often too short to see the long term effects of a given device. In other cases, key findings are left out of the study in order to hasten the product’s release to the market. Research and development take time and money. Sometimes, pharmaceutical companies simply cut corners, or the item is manufactured with flaws.
In other cases, the directions and hazards are not clearly described to the physician or the end consumer of the product. For instance, this medical device will treat condition A, but there is a serious risk of the occurrence of condition B.
If a device is not properly labeled or if usage instructions are unclear, the FDA may consider it in violation and declare it defective until the item is properly labeled or the instructions are clarified.
There are hundreds of causes for defective medical devices. In order to file a product liability case, the device must be unsafe for the intended use. There will be multiple interpretations as to the safety of the product, so your Clifton medical device attorney’s job is to work hard to prove that it is unreasonably dangerous.
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Who Can I Sue for a Defective Medical Device Injury?
Designers are usually held liable if the design of the product was inherently defective. Manufacturers can be held liable if the manufacturing process causes failures in the medical device or if substandard products like faulty screws were used.
The pharmaceutical company and manufacturers are obligated to adhere to strict rules in the manufacturing of devices, and it is possible that quality control steps were not properly implemented.
It’s the job of the distribution company to ensure that the item has appropriate instructions and warnings attached to the packaging and that no misleading advertising is permitted to be shown to the public.
A defective medical device attorney in Clifton analyzes the factors to discover how the defect occurred, how it caused your injury, and who is responsible. Multiple parties will often share liability for a defective medical product claim.
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What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Medical Device Lawsuit in Clifton, NJ?
There is a statute of limitations imposed on claims for injury from defective medical devices. In the State of New Jersey, the deadline for filing is two years from the date of injury under N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-2.
Similarly, if you lost a loved one, the statute of limitations for filing a case is also two years from the date of death, per N.J. Stat. § 2A:31-3. If you fail to file before the time limit, your rights to sue are terminated.
The time to contact an attorney for the issue is immediately after seeking medical treatment when you suspect you have been injured by the medical device. A lawyer with a background in medical device defects can advise you of the best way to proceed and to preserve evidence against the manufacturer.
If you have not called a lawyer yet, and you have been harmed, it is advisable that you do so right away to find out your options.
Advertising, Warning Labels, and Instructions on Medical Devices
Distributors of a medical device are obligated to include all information about potential risks, proper usage and potential dangers of the product in the packaging. If they fail to meet this standard, they can be held liable as well.
Proper instructions must be included. The FDA requires that proper directions for use be understandable to the average person for devices that are available for retail consumption. This requirement has provisions that prescription medical devices or implanted devices be properly represented or labeled for physicians, where printed instructions are not possible.
Labeling a product also includes advertising. This is why you will see so much fine print on the screen of many prescription drug advertisements. The advertising counts as labeling according to the FDA, and it may not mislead you into thinking all your problems will be solved without risks when you use their products, if that is not truly the case.
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How Are Damages Determined in a Medical Device Lawsuit?
Depending on your specific injuries and suffering, compensation usually includes economic and non-economic damages. It is the job of a medical device lawyer to show the jury how the defective medical device has caused you pain and suffering through no fault of your own and convince them to award you these damages.
- Economic damages compensate you for actual money lost because of the injury incurred. This can include wages lost from time off work, future wages lost because you are disabled, loss of future income from someone’s death, or loss of potential earnings because you had to change jobs. Medical costs incurred for treatment, and future costs to treat your injuries or condition will be included here.
- Non-economic damages are harder to measure. Pain and suffering for injuries is a subjective cost and can include things like loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and the suffering caused by the pain involved in your injury, disfigurement, or the pain for ongoing treatment.
Determining an exact amount of compensation up front is very difficult. A skilled defective medical device lawyer in Clifton will have a knowledge of how to value your claim, but the total award will depend on the jury or the settlement agreement. Nobody can know ahead of time if a jury will assess punitive damages that would increase the value of your claim.
How Do You Win a Product Liability Lawsuit for a Defective Medical Device?
You would need to prove that the product was defective, you were injured by it, and the manufacturer is liable for your injuries. Or, if you can show that the medical device was unreasonably dangerous, you could win the product liability lawsuit.
In some cases, you can win by proving that the manufacturer or seller was negligent in the manufacturing or development of the device. Your Clifton defective medical device attorney can investigate your claim to determine liability.
To reasonably pursue damages, it must be proven that harm you have suffered was caused by the device, and it needs to be proven defective in one or more ways:
The Medical Device Had a Defective or Faulty Design
The design of the medical device is just flawed. It simply doesn’t function the way it was meant to, or it creates other problems while functioning. For example, an appliance that catches fire if used on a high setting, or a car that has an accelerator that sticks even though it is brand new.
The Device Has a Manufacturing Defect
Errors sometimes occur during the manufacturing process, causing the device to depart from its intended design, making the product malfunction. Substandard materials, faulty attachments, flaws in the production line, bad quality control, or any other mishaps in the manufacturing process can cause medical device defects.
A manufacturing defect example would be contaminated food or on an assembly line, or an entire shipment of pants that came from the factory missing buttons.
If a manufacturer does not disclose the risks of using their product, they can be held liable. If you are given an insulin pump that does not include a warning that it will stop working in temperatures over 100 degrees, and it malfunctions because you live in a hot climate, the marketing is defective.
The same is true if warning labels are not attached, or advertisements fail to disclose risks of using the product.
What Are Some of the Defective Medical Devices You Are Following or Working on?
Our team is always researching and following the latest developments in medical product liability. In relation to our work helping the injured fight for compensation, we must always keep current on cases and pending lawsuits pertaining to faulty medical devices in the course of our practice.
Some of the devices include:
- Dialysis filters
- Shoulder pain pumps
- Power morcellators
- Hip replacements and knee replacements made by companies such as DePuy, Zimmer, and Sulzer
- Cardiovascular products, like pacemakers, stents, heart valves and defibrillators
- Respiratory products and sleep devices like ventilators, cpap machines, and inhalers
- Surgical mesh, including transvaginal surgical mesh and hernia mesh
- Breast implants
- Defective prosthetics
- Artificial cervical discs and lumbar disks
- Dental implants
Contact Us Today for a Free Case Evaluation
Our team at Morelli Law Firm can help you without compromising your medical recovery. Find out more about the services we can offer and how we may be able to help you recover financial damages during your free case evaluation.
Call or use our online form to set up your first appointment so that we can begin building your claim. Start working with a Clifton defective medical device lawyer with no fees required up front. Our firm works on a contingency basis, so there is no risk or financial obligation.