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.

Malpractice or Product Liability? | Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet

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.

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.

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured Due to Medical Malpractice in Kansas City, Missouri?

If you believe you or a loved one has been harmed due to medical practice you should speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 816.832.4688 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to serve Kansas City, Missouri, and the surrounding area and look forward to speaking with you.


Spencer Eisenmenger
Helping Kansas City area medical malpractice, product liability, birth injury and personal injury clients.