Defective Medical Devices: Malpractice or Product Liability?
Posted in Product Liability on September 27, 2021
Medical devices are essential tools to help doctors treat, diagnose, and examine patients. Although we trust that these devices are safe and perform according to the manufacturers’ specifications, medical tools can be defective and cause serious injury to a patient.
If you have been injured by a defective medical device, you may be eligible for compensation through a product liability or medical malpractice lawsuit. The type of claim that you file will depend on the cause of the defect and the circumstances surrounding your injuries.
Product Liability Claims for Medical Devices
Manufacturers of medical devices have a duty to ensure that their products are safe to use and will not cause harm to a patient. If a company fails to uphold this duty and sells a defective product, it could be liable for any patient injuries.
Under Missouri law, there are three types of product defects.
- Manufacturing defects: An event occurs during the manufacturing process that makes the medical device defective.
- Design defects: The device’s design is inherently dangerous, and all products could cause harm to a patient.
- Failure to warn: The manufacturer failed to include adequate warnings and instructions to help consumers avoid potential dangers of the device.
If your medical device defect falls under one of the above categories and was caused by the actions of the manufacturer, distributor, retailer, or another party along the supply chain, your case will likely fall under product liability.
Medical Malpractice and Defective Devices
All medical professionals, including surgeons, physicians, nurses, and medical assistants, have a duty to provide a certain standard of care to a patient. If a medical professional deviates from this standard of care and harms a patient, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice.
Common examples of medical malpractice include the following.
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition
- Committing an error while performing surgery
- Misreading laboratory test results
- Failure to provide proper aftercare
- Performing surgery in the wrong location
- Failure to assess a patient’s medical history
- Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
Doctors must exercise the appropriate standard of care while using or implanting the device. If you can prove that the at-fault medical professional failed to uphold this standard, you could hold him or her liable for any injuries you sustained.
For example, if a doctor was aware that a device was defective and chose to use it anyway, he or she would likely be liable if the device malfunctions and harms you. If a doctor failed to warn you of the device’s potential dangers or provide you with adequate instructions on how to use or care for the device,, he or she would also be liable for your injuries.
Speak to a Missouri Medical Malpractice Attorney
When a medical device fails, it is important to understand the underlying cause of the failure. If the defect occurred due to the actions of the manufacturer, you would likely file a product liability claim. If the defect would not have happened but for the actions of your healthcare provider, he or she would likely be liable for medical malpractice.
In these situations, it is important to speak with a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer. Your attorney will have the skills, experience, knowledge, and resources necessary to investigate your injury and determine whether your claim falls under product liability or medical malpractice. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your legal options.