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Clark Love & Hutson

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The Nationally Recognized Plaintiffs Litigation Law Firm

Does Texas treat medical products liability differently?

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2023 | Defective Product Litigation, Products Liability |

Medical products liability is a type of product liability that involves injuries or damages caused by defective or dangerous medical devices, drugs or other products. Medical products liability cases can be based on various legal theories, such as negligence, breach of warranty, misrepresentation or strict liability. Texas law treats medical products liability differently from other product liability cases in some respects.

Civil Practice and Remedies Code

Texas has a specific chapter in its Civil Practice and Remedies Code that governs medical liability claims, including those involving medical products. This chapter defines the terms and concepts related to medical liability, establishes the duties and responsibilities of health care providers and manufacturers and sets the standards and procedures for filing and resolving medical liability claims.

Statute of limitations

Our state has a two-year statute of limitations for medical products liability claims, which means that you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the injury or death caused by the defective product. However, Texas also has a 15-year statute of repose, which means that a claimant cannot file a lawsuit against a manufacturer or seller of a product more than 15 years after the date the product was first sold. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as when the manufacturer fraudulently concealed the defect or when the product has an express warranty that extends beyond 15 years.

Strict liability

Texas follows the doctrine of strict liability for medical products liability claims, which means that a claimant does not have to prove that the manufacturer or seller was negligent or at fault for the defect. The claimant must only prove that the product was defective and that the defect caused the injury or damage. However, Texas also recognizes some defenses that can limit or bar the liability of the manufacturer or seller, such as misuse, alteration, assumption of risk, comparative fault or compliance with government standards.

Non-economic damages

Texas limits the amount of non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) that a claimant can recover in a medical products liability claim to $250,000 per claimant and $500,000 per occurrence. However, there is no cap on economic damages (such as medical expenses and lost income) or punitive damages (which are awarded to punish or deter wrongful conduct).