How Are Consumers Protected from Defective Medical Devices?
In the past decade, there has been a disturbing upward trend in major negative events related to medical devices, such as injury, hospitalization, disability, and death. The dramatic growth of the medical device industry partly explains the trend: more devices distributed will naturally yield more negative results as well as many more positive outcomes. However, there has also been a dramatic increase in the production of high-risk devices, and many are not adequately tested before the Food and Drug Administration clears them for use on patients. Since there is also a great deal of money to be made from medical devices, manufacturers who get FDA approval quickly push to expand the scope of usage for their products, often beyond those uses that have undergone testing. Finally, medical devices have become much more complex in recent years and are increasingly used in life-sustaining situations, so there is much more that can go wrong, and a mishap can have much more dangerous consequences.
None of this bodes well for patients, who can find themselves used as beta-testers for unproven products. In recent years, innumerable patients have been harmed by a variety of poorly vetted medical devices, including:
- Metal-on-metal artificial hips
- Surgical meshes
- Lap bands
- Implantable defibrillators
- Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters
There is no panacea for patients who suffer harm from these and other defective devices. However, injured patients do have the right to sue responsible parties, such as the manufacturer of a faulty device or a surgeon who implants it improperly. A lawsuit allows the patient to recover:
- Costs of medical treatment to manage and correct the problem
- Loss of income associated with the injury
- Pain and suffering compensation
- Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life or quality of life
A civil lawsuit can be a long process, but it has the potential to deliver the best possible remedy for an injured patient. In cases where a product has a history of negative outcomes, claims often settle in a timely fashion.
If you’ve been injured by a defective medical device in western Pennsylvania, Rudberg Law Offices, LLC can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 412-488-6000 or contact our Pittsburgh office online to schedule a free consultation.