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Advances in medical technology have made it possible for doctors and surgeons to treat a variety of diseases and conditions that may have been untreatable even just a decade ago. However, that same technology may also cause considerable harm.
Manufacturers of medical devices are responsible for ensuring that their devices, whether used on patients or implanted in their bodies, are safe.
Medical devices, including those used at home and those in hospital settings, serve society’s frailest and most vulnerable members. Problematic defects and other dangers can quickly topple these users’ already fragile health.
Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Attorneys Working for You
Milavetz Injury Law, P.A., is a Minnesota law firm with years of experience handling large cases against medical device manufacturers as well as cases revolving around defective drugs. Our legal team has won millions of dollars for plaintiffs hurt by malfunctioning or defective medical devices.
Our cases focus on the manufacturers of medical devices and medical care centers where doctors use these devices or implant them into patients. For example, you may have heard on KSTP Eyewitness News about Minnesota veterans filing claims against 3M for defective earplugs that led to hearing loss.
Who is responsible for ensuring medical devices are safe?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to ensure that all medical devices are safe for use. Medical devices range from those that may be temporary to devices designed to be permanently implanted into the body. Millions of people rely on the safety of medical devices. When these devices fail, people get hurt.
Hospitals like Abbott Northwestern as well as local clinics use hundreds of different medical devices every day, from the relatively minor, like blood pressure cuffs, to devices that cost millions of dollars, like X-ray machines and MRI scanners.
If these devices malfunction or don’t properly diagnose your illness or medical condition, they can cause immediate harm or lead to improper care.
Device manufacturers are responsible for producing safe, effective, and tested medical devices, and the FDA is responsible for regulating this industry with independent testing of the devices.
However, hospitals and other medical treatment centers also share responsibility for ensuring that their medical devices are safe, sterile, and in good working order.
The Facts about Dangerous Medical Devices
If you were the recipient of medical device implantation that failed, or if you were misdiagnosed or otherwise harmed by a defective medical device, you need to seek legal advice as soon as possible. You may have a claim that could cover your medical bills or other damages you suffered.
Consumer Reports lists common medical devices known to cause injury:
- Heart valves and stents
- Medicine pumps
- Silicone breast implants
- Knee implants or hip implants
- Vaginal mesh
- Power morcellators
You have options if you’ve had medical damage, worsening conditions, or otherwise had your health impacted by a faulty medical device. The legal team at Milavetz Injury Law can help with a personal injury case.
Injuries Stemming from Defective Medical Devices
The kinds of injuries that defective medical devices cause varies, as these devices serve just about all parts of the body. Some people may have allergic reactions to products used to make the device, while others may experience heart problems or even a heart attack.
Devices used in emergencies, like defibrillators, robotics, or other devices during surgery, may even cause death. Some people may be unable to have children after a faulty birth control implant like Paragard damages their uterus or reproductive system.
Have you been harmed by a defective medical device?
Every case is different, but for some people, the effects of a faulty medical device can be life-changing. There are several distinct ways a device becomes harmful, including:
- Problems with the initial design of the device, meaning all products are faulty
- Problems when manufacturing the device, so some products are defective
- Failure of the medical center to properly maintain the device
- Improper training of medical staff members, causing device misuse
As you can see, there are several situations in which a medical device can cause harm. Determining when the device malfunctioned or who used it improperly also establishes who is responsible for your injuries or health problems.
What happens if a defective medical device has harmed you?
Suppose that misuse or malfunction of a medical device hurts you. In that case, you may be able to file a lawsuit for personal injury and defective products or even medical malpractice. A lawyer specializing in this area is essential.
If the device had a design flaw, the company that designed it would be held liable for a defective product. However, if the design was sound and the FDA approved the device, but a problem occurred in the manufacturing process, which resulted in a harmful device, the situation would be different.
For example, suppose contamination affects one batch of silicone breast implants at the manufacturing plant. The contamination could make users sterile, leading to physical damage to the women receiving the implants. In this instance, the manufacturer would be responsible for the health damage.
Perhaps a hospital didn’t conduct regular inspections of their surgical devices and didn’t properly maintain them. Then a surgical instrument failed to work during surgery. When harm happens to a patient, it may be the hospital’s fault for not taking care of their equipment.
Or, let’s say a surgical tech didn’t know how to use the device and hurt someone during surgery. The individual and hospital may be held liable for medical malpractice.
You can see how the circumstances of these cases can complicate quickly. Trust our legal team to sort through the issues and determine who is responsible for your suffering.
Do you have a claim for a faulty medical device?
If you received medical treatment and a faulty medical device harmed you, you may have a case for damages. These can include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
These damages represent hard numbers, such as your medical bills and ongoing care costs. You may also have missed work due to the injury or might even be unable to work after the incident. As a result, you can claim missed wages and loss of earning potential.
These damages include pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, or PTSD from the trauma caused by the malfunctioning device. Many people cannot enjoy the hobbies or activities they used to and receive compensation for this loss.
These damages operate as a deterrent to medical device designers, manufacturers, and hospitals. Think of them as a fine for negligence when designing, producing, or maintaining dangerous devices.
Punitive damages are a form of corrective punishment designed to discourage ongoing bad behavior.
Have you been harmed by a dangerous medical device?
If a medical device has harmed you, you have options. Call us today at 763-560-0000 to set up a free consultation about your case. We are serious about getting you the just compensation that you deserve and ensuring that medical device manufacturers take responsibility for the effect their faulty and defective products have had on your health.
Our team will work to ensure that negligent medical device manufacturers are held accountable, and we seek justice on your behalf. Visit our contact page to find a full list of all nine of our office locations where we’d be happy to meet with you in person.