Monthly Archives: June 2011

Dangerous Drug Recalls And Defective Medical Devices

Defective Pharmaceuticals

For purposes of this post, “dangerous drugs” refers to prescription medications that have debilitating or deadly side effects. “Defective medical devices” refers to any instrument, machine or implant that is used to enhance a person’s overall health or well-being that fails to work properly, stops working, or has unintended (and often life-threatening) side effects, resulting in permanent injury, disabilities and even death. Collectively we refer to them as “pharmaceuticals”.

Defective medical devices are generally products such as pacemakers, defibrillators, mesh patches and artificial joints such as hips, knees, etc., that fail because of improper design or harm a patient because of manufacturer negligence. However, devices such as x-ray machines and diagnostic equipment can also be defective and result in patient injuries.

Why They Are Defective

A majority of injuries caused by defective pharmaceuticals are the result of manufacturer negligence. Sometimes, companies are so eager to obtain approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin earning profits that they do not perform the necessary research or appropriate pre-clinical tests. Sometimes, sad to say, even when those tests reveal excessive health risks, companies sometimes take the product to market anyway, regardless of the human cost, and then just budget for the inevitable multi-million (or billion) dollar litigation.

A medical device recall does not always require discontinued use or the removal of that device. It may mean that the device must be adjusted or checked. If it is discovered that an implanted device may fail, patients should have a conversation with their doctor to discuss the risks of having it removed versus the risk of potential failure.

A product recall can also be the result of budget reductions. If funding for research and development has been cut, this may prevent necessary testing. A design defect can also occur during the drug’s planning process, and may not be uncovered until the drug has been widely distributed.

Reasons for a Product Recall

While there are many reasons a product recall, the most common include:

  • A device needs to be repaired
  • The device has a major defect and must be destroyed
  • Patients are being monitored for health risks associated with the product
  • The settings must be adjusted
  • An inspection is required
  • New labels or warnings are needed

Pharmaceutical manufacturers have an obligation to provide safe and dependable products that work as intended. Even when a drug or medical device works as it should, there are other risks that must be revealed. The law requires product manufacturers to disclose any known issues about the side effects, malfunctions or other potential problems associated with a device.

Common Defective Devices

There are a number of medical devices that may contain defects, such as:

  • Dialysis machines
  • Defibrillators
  • Stents
  • Pain pumps
  • Depuy Hip Replacement
  • Spinal discs
  • Prosthetics
  • Vaginal Mesh
  • Joint replacement parts
  • Diagnostic equipment
  • Heart valves

Holding the Negligent Party Responsible

In most defective device cases, the manufacturer is responsible for injuries sustained by a faulty device. However, wholesalers, distributors and marketing companies can also be held liable. If one of these parties is responsible for your injuries, you can file a product liability claim.

If you were injured by a device and you believe your doctor, surgeon, nurse or other medical practitioner is responsible, you can file a medical malpractice suit to hold that person liable.

Potential Damages for a Defective Device Suit

If you have been injured because of a defective medical device, you may be eligible for the following compensation:

  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Loss income and future earnings
  • Punitive damages (which punish the party responsible)
  • Pain and suffering and emotional anguish

If you already have a pharmaceutical lawsuit and are in need of immediate financial assistance, you may be eligible for non-recourse lawsuit settlement funding (aka lawsuit loans).

Call TriMark Legal Funding LLC, The Settlement funding Company, at 1-877-932-2628 for more information or to find out if your case qualifies for a cash advance.