Clark, Love & Hutson, GP

Defective medical device litigation

For every Texan who benefits from the wonders of medical technology, others suffer from defects in that same technology. Texans harmed by a poorly designed or manufactured medical device have legal options. But, with options come steps and decisions that need to be navigated. To learn more about navigating an injury caused by a defective medical device, keep reading.

The first concern may come as a surprise: the statute of limitations, which acts just as a shot clock in basketball. Essentially, someone injured by a defective medical device has a certain amount of time to file their claim after the harm occurred. If the person waits until the clock has run out, then no court will hear their case, no matter how strong the facts or how sad the story.

The next question often is whether to file a product liability or medical malpractice lawsuit. The distinction is over who to sue. Product liability lawsuits pursue the company that designed or manufactured the medical device. Medical malpractice lawsuits target the nurse, doctor or hospital that recommended the device or implanted in the person. However, which type of lawsuit to choose often can be tricky.

A third consideration is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates medical devices. The level of regulation depends on how dangerous the device is -- i.e., how likely the device will be to hurt someone.

Those regulations become significant depending on the extent of the company's compliance. If the company tightly complies with FDA regulations, that is strong evidence in favor of the company. But, by the same token, if the company did not comply closely, that can be powerful evidence against the company.

As these introductory issues hint, medical device litigation can be highly complex with many traps awaiting those new to the subject. To learn how to navigate around the land mines, Texans may benefit from discussing their case with an experienced medical device attorney.

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