California Medical Product Liability Attorneys
Medical Device Product Failure - Medical Device Death
Each year medical device makers place hundreds of new medical devices on the market, including joint replacement components (knees, elbows, hips, ankles), cosmetic implants (chin, breast, buttocks, calf), and surgical instruments.
The Food and Drug Administration is supposed to be responsible for testing and approving each and every medical device for safety and efficacy. However, the truth is that the FDA is unable to carefully test and screen all such devices or surgical tools. In recent years, the approval process for medical devices has been accelerated as multinational manufacturers motivated by the desire for profit have pushed harder and harder for fast device approval and less rigorous testing. Oftentimes, the FDA simply approves a new device, prosthesis, or implant on the basis of its "substantial similarity" to an already existing device.
Need A Wrongful Death Lawyer In California?
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one from a severe injury or accident in California, Walkup Melodia can help you. Please contact us online or call now (888) 564-8254 for an immediate consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in San Francisco.
Each year, a number of defective or poorly designed medical devices cause deaths and severe injuries. Some of these devices are immediately recalled, while others are allowed to linger on the market. On February 11, 2005, Medtronic Inc. issued a statement to physicians advising them that over 80,000 implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds) are prone to battery depletion and failure. In June 2005, St. Jude, an international medical technology company, similarly announced that some of its ICDs have a software problem that could cause the heart-shocking device to malfunction, with potentially fatal consequences. Seven months after Medtronic's warning, medical device maker Guidant Corporation recalled a number of its own medical devices. On September 22, 2005, it recalled nearly 100,000 implanted defibrillators and pacemakers because of potentially life-threatening electric malfunctions.
Our device and instrument product liability group represents the survivors of deceased patients whose deaths were the result of defective medical products. Successful claims against the makers of medical instruments, prosthetic devices and implants involve multiple experts, exhaustive investigation, and significant financial resources. At Walkup, our attorneys have the experience, resources and network of medical experts and investigators to successfully pursue such claims, whether the claim is on behalf of an individual client or a group (or a class) of plaintiffs injured by the same device. Potentially dangerous medical instruments and devices include, but are not limited to:
- Ancure Aortoiliac System
- Ancure Endograft System
- Arrow Sheath Introducers
- Baxter Dialysis Filter
- Biornet Hip Replacement
- Boston Scientific Express and Taxus Stents
- Boston Scientific Infusion Ports
- Charite Spinal Discs
- Cordis Precise RX Stent
- Dissetronic H-Tron Insulin Pump
- Guidant Contak Renewal Defibrillators
- Guidant Multi-Link Vision Stent
- Guidant Pacemaker
- Guidant Prizm 2 Defibrillator
- Hospitak Airway Adapters
- Medtronic Defibrillators
- Minimed Diabetic Infusion Set
- Minstrel Patient Lift
- Olympus Bronchoscope
- Ortho Evra Patch
- Oxinium Knee Implant
- Shiley TracheoSoft
- St. Jude Aortic Connector
- St. Jude Defibrillator
- Tyco U.S. Surgical Stapler
If a defective medical device caused a family member or partner's wrongful death, it is critical that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Because cases involving defective medical devices are complex and expensive, and issues of federal safety and FDA approval may preempt state law, you need an experienced and competent team of wrongful death medical device specialists. The California medical product liability law firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger is prepared to help. We are prepared to determine whether the device, prosthesis, instrument or implant was properly designed and manufactured, whether appropriate and adequate warnings and instructions were provided, whether sufficient testing was done prior to placing the product on the market, and whether the manufacturer, in the hope of making substantial profit, over-promoted the safety, effectiveness or benefits of the device. Because of strict timelines that govern the prosecution of product liability claims both in California and Nevada, it is imperative that you meet with one of our California attorneys as soon as possible to preserve your claim.
Examples of Our Success
Cardiac Surgery With Defective Medical Device - $1,190,000 Death Settlement
Our medical device attorneys concluded a wrongful death case for $1,190,000 on behalf of the family of a 44-year-old husband and father who died after undergoing heart surgery. The patient had presented to the defendant hospital following an abnormal stress echocardiogram and an episode of cardiac arrhythmia. His physicians performed coronary artery bypass grafting on four coronary vessels. The decedent developed an aortic dissection intraoperatively, which resulted in multiorgan failure and his death. At trial, our experts demonstrated that the fatal aortic dissection was caused by an experimental catheter that was being tested by the medical device company in clinical trials at the defendant hospital.
Defective Heart Stent - Confidential Settlement
Our attorneys represented the surviving wife and children of a man who died after undergoing heart catheterization using a recently invented stent. The stent caused a massive blood clot, which resulted in a fatal myocardial infarction. Our medical device team was able to find experts in the field who showed that the manufacturer's pre-market investigation and testing were inadequate, and that the instructions given to operating surgeons regarding the use of blood thinning medications in association with the device were not strong enough to adequately educate prescribing physicians.
Dangerous Surgical Instrument - $5,125,000
Our medical device lawyers obtained a settlement in the amount of $5,125,000 on behalf of a 54-year-old university school teacher after undergoing treatment with a surgical device, recently designed and introduced on the market, to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (also known as heartburn). The surgery was to be "minimally invasive," but instead the medical device caused significant burning and scarring of our client's esophagus. She went on to suffer esophageal rupture, sepsis, major organ failure, and lapsed into a coma. The maker of the device claimed that it could not be sued because the device had been approved by the FDA. Our attorneys prevailed on a motion for summary judgment in the trial court, and the case was then resolved by way of settlement just before trial.
If you have lost a loved one due to a design or manufacturing defect in a medical device or instrument, contact Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger for a FREE CONSULTATION. We do not charge a fee unless we recover financial compensation for you. Contact our California defective device wrongful death lawyers today at 1.888.564.8254 or 1.415.658.9310.