Catheter Injury Lawsuit

Where You Need a Lawyer:

(This may not be the same place you live)

At No Cost! 

 What Are Catheter Injuries?

In medicine, a catheter is a slender tube that serves a range of purposes in medical treatment. A catheter may be made of flexible plastic, glass, or other rigid material. In the course of various medical procedures, they can be inserted into a person’s body for the purpose of treating disease or to assist in performing a surgical procedure.

Manufacturers make different kinds of catheters for specific applications. Catheters are manufactured for various different medical applications such as ophthalmic (involving the eyes), cardiovascular, urological, and gastrointestinal. They are used for different objectives, such as draining liquid from a location or removing blood clots.

Depending on the kind of catheter and its uses, various injuries are associated with their use. These can include:

  • Ripping of tissue, organs, or other body parts;
  • Blood poisoning;
  • Damage to the bladder or urethra caused by urethral catheters;
  • Various injuries caused by broken pieces of a catheter in the bloodstream or in organs of the body.

In particular, some catheter types have been recalled due to parts degrading and breaking or shattering. This can result in the pieces becoming loose and traveling through the bloodstream, causing harm to the heart, blood vessels, and other organs and tissue. These kinds of catheter injuries can be severe and even deadly.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Catheter Injuries?

Different parties can be held liable for a catheter injury, depending on the situation. A defect in a catheter may cause injury or death. In that case, the manufacturer and distributors of the catheter product can be liable under a theory of strict product liability for injuries caused by the defect.

Product defects are generally sorted into three categories as follows:

  • Design Defects: These are defects that are incorporated into a product when it is first designed;
  • Manufacturing Defects: These are defects that are incorporated into a product during the manufacturing process;
  • Warning Defects: Warning defects are defects that appear in instruction manuals, assembly directions, or other written material and packaging that comes with a product. Warning defects may consist of assembly directions that are incorrect, for example. Or the labels and packaging may fail to warn users of known risks in connection with the use of a product.

The manufacturer of a defective product and the distributors of it may be liable to a victim who is injured for strict product liability. In a product liability case, the victim does not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent in any way. Rather, the victim must only prove that the product was defective and that the defect was the direct cause of injury to the victim.

An illustration of this is where a catheter is assembled to make it more prone to breakage, creating more risk of damage. In such circumstances, the manufacturer might be held responsible for injuries caused by a defective product assembly.

In other circumstances, a doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional may be liable for negligence or medical malpractice if they were negligent in implanting, withdrawing, managing, or handling a patient’s catheter.

An instance of this is when a medical professional fails to observe proper sanitation measures when extracting a catheter. They might then be liable for malpractice if injuries result from their actions.

What Are the Legal Remedies in a Catheter Lawsuit?

Catheter injuries can result from various causes, and there may be several players in a case who are potentially liable. Different parties can be held liable for a catheter injury, depending on the situation.

As noted above, a catheter manufacturer might be liable for the injuries caused by a product defect. A medical professional, e.g., a doctor or surgeon, may be liable for medical malpractice.

In either case, if found liable, a medical professional for malpractice or a company for strict product liability, they would have to pay an award of compensatory damages to the injured victim.

Compensatory damages reimburse the victim for their economic losses, such as the cost of all necessary medical treatment, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Compensatory damages also compensate a victim for their non-economic damages, such as the pain and suffering they experienced in connection with their injury.

If a person dies as a result of catheter malpractice or a catheter defect, their family members will file a wrongful death lawsuit for damages. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family members seek compensation for any necessary medical treatment that their loved one required before their passing.

In addition, a wrongful death lawsuit compensates remaining family members for their loved one’s earnings that were lost to the family and loss of inheritance due to the untimely death of the family member, loss of consortium of their family member, and pain and suffering.

In other circumstances, a doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional may be liable for negligence or medical malpractice if they were negligent in inserting, withdrawing, or handling a patient’s catheter. An instance of this is when a medical professional fails to observe sanitation measures when extracting a catheter. They might be held liable for malpractice if injuries result from their actions in such circumstances.

The type of catheter known as the Foley catheter has been the subject of medical malpractice lawsuits. In urology, a Foley catheter is a named brand and one of several brands for what are called indwelling urinary catheters.

Some urinary catheters are referred to as in/out catheters. These consist of a single tube that is designed to be inserted into the bladder of a person to drain it and then be removed.

The Foley catheter is named for Frederic Foley, the man who first produced the initial design in 1929. It consists of a flexible tube if it is the type that is inserted and stays inserted. It may be made of rigid glass or plastic if it is used for in/out insertions.

The use of urinary catheters, such as the Foley catheter, has led to a number of medical malpractice lawsuits for urethral damage from a catheter. There have been lawsuits because the catheter is of the type that is inserted into a vulnerable part of the body, which, if injured by negligent insertion, can be quite painful and debilitating.

Can I Sue a Hospital for Medical Malpractice?

Hospitals can be on the legal hook for their employees’ medical negligence, but the hospital’s liability hinges on a few key elements.

If a person is injured while obtaining medical treatment in a hospital, they may be able to sue the hospital for negligence or medical malpractice. However, this is not the case in every situation. Though hospitals must often answer for inept care delivered by employees such as nurses and medical technicians, they usually are not liable for a doctor’s medical negligence. A physician or surgeon would answer for themselves if they commit medical malpractice.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With a Catheter Lawsuit?

If you have been injured by a catheter, you want to consult a class action lawyer. LegalMatch.com can connect you to a lawyer who can review your case and enlist the help of experts to identify the cause of your injury. Your lawyer can file the right kind of lawsuit, if that is necessary, and represent you in settlement negotiations or at trial.

star-badge.png

16 people have successfully posted their cases

Find a Lawyer