Medical devices are the modern go to solution for many of today’s health problems such as joints that aren’t working and hearts with irregular beats and when these devices are properly implanted and properly functioning, they often improve a patient’s quality of life and sometimes they also add years to a patient’s life. Problems that medical device cases attorneys have seen more and more of recently are cases where patients wind up suffering more serious and sometimes fatal injuries caused by defective medical devices than they would have suffered had they stayed away from the medical device altogether.
Defective device crisis
The medical device industry seems to be in crisis mode as it is hard to keep up with all of the new devices being placed on the market to cure specific health problems and then all of the devices continually recalled back off of the market due to the discovery of injury causing defects in those devices. The one thing that remains constant in this cycle of new medical devices put into circulation and then taken back off of the market due to discovered defects, is that there is big money in medical device production.
The medical device development and production business have never been bigger and demand have never been higher. Experts project that the medical device market will reach a staggering $410 billion value in the next couple of years. With medical devices pulling in vast quantities of money, manufacturers feel pressured to get their devices onto the market as quickly as possible and sometimes anticipated income is worth more to those manufacturers than patient safety.
How defective devices get into the market
In general, it is the device manufacturer that creates the product and then markets it to the medical community. Problems arise when doctors and patients place their trust in medical devices that have not been properly constructed or vetted by manufacturers that are too focused on being the first to get their product on the market. See below for common causes related to defective devices making their way onto the market.
- Inadequate research
- Inadequate safety testing
- Defective design
- Defective manufacturing
- Inadequate warnings
Recovery for defective device injuries
When defective medical devices cause injuries to patients, they deserve to be fully and fairly compensated. Recoverable damages may include lost wages, lost earning capacity, medical expenses and future medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish defendants’ egregious conduct. In medical device cases that lead to fatal injuries, there may be recovery options for the deceased’s family members and/or the deceased’s estate under a wrongful death claim and survival action.