Surgically Implanted Medical Devices and Injury Liability

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What Are Surgically Implanted Medical Devices?

Surgically implanted medical devices are instruments that a surgeon leaves inside a patient for an extended period of time for some health benefit. Some examples of surgically implanted medical devices include:

If a Patient Is Injured, Who Is Liable?

If a patient is injured because of a surgically implanted medical device, there may be several distinct people who are liable for their injuries. Generally, that can include:

The two most common defendants in a lawsuit for personal injury coming from a surgically implanted medical device are the surgeon who performed the operation and the manufacturer of the device.

1) Surgeon Liability

Generally, the surgeon who performs the operation that implants a medical device is liable under a theory of medical malpractice or negligence.  In order to be successful in a lawsuit against a surgeon, an injured patient has to prove:

  1. The surgeon owed them a duty in implanting a medical device,
  2. The surgeon did not meet the applicable standard of care when implanting the medical device, and
  3. The surgeon's actions caused the injuries to the patient.

Lawsuits of this type are very difficult. Largely because determining what the standard of care should be for a surgeon is extremely to demonstrate.

2) Manufacturer Liability

Generally, the manufacturer of a surgically implanted medical device can be liable to an injured patient under a theory of strict liability for a defective product. As such, for an injured patient to be successful in a lawsuit against a manufacturer, they must show:

  1. The manufacturer engaged in the sale of surgically implanted medical devices,
  2. The surgically implanted medical device was in a defective condition which made it unreasonably dangerous,
  3. The manufacturer placed the surgically introduced the medical device into the market place in its defective condition, and
  4. The defective condition of the surgically implanted medical device was the cause of the patient's injury.

Are There Any Defenses?

In a lawsuit against a surgeon or manufacturer for injuries associated with a surgically implanted medical device, several defenses exist. Common defenses include:

What Can Be Recovered In a Successful Lawsuit?

If a surgeon or manufacturer is successfully sued for an injury associated with a surgically implanted medical devise, and depending on the circumstances, a patient or their survivor can usually recover the following:

Do I Need an Attorney?

If you have been injured because of a surgically implanted medical device, it is highly recommended for you to contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. Only a lawyer will be able to thoroughly explain any issues, help defend your rights, and assist in getting you any compensation you deserve.

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Last Modified: 12-21-2015 09:15 AM PST

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