By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

5 Most Dangerous Medical Devices

Several manufacturers continue to face legal action from plaintiffs who claim they suffered severe injuries after using defective medical devices. The following is an update of five cases involving dangerous products that people trusted to make them better – but made them much worse instead.

The law firm of Osborne & Francis has a team of skilled, experienced defective medical device attorneys. We’re ready to help if a faulty medical device has harmed you. Please schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or calling (561) 621-1385.

Hip Implants

Hip implants have been the subject of various lawsuits due to complications and failures associated with some devices. Issues may include device dislocation, metallosis (metal poisoning), implant loosening, and other complications requiring revision surgery. Several manufacturers face lawsuits related to their hip implant products.

In August 2022, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an Iowa woman could keep her award of $3.5 million in a lawsuit against Zimmer Biomet. She alleged she had to undergo two hip replacement surgeries because her first one failed. She sued the manufacturer in 2020, claiming it had rushed the M2a Magnum hip implant despite knowing it wasn’t safe.

Transvaginal Mesh

More than 100,000 plaintiffs across the country have filed lawsuits against transvaginal mesh manufacturers. A transvaginal mesh is designed to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women. Patients reported severe complications, such as mesh erosion, organ perforation, chronic pain, and infections. 

A jury in Delaware awarded a transvaginal mesh plaintiff $100 million in May 2023. She claimed the Pinnacle and Advantage Fit device, made by Boston Scientific, caused severe side effects. These included urinary tract infections, pain during intercourse, and others. The plaintiff also had to undergo two corrective surgeries, which were unsuccessful. 

However, on Oct. 9, 2022, a Delaware judge ruled that the manufacturer should only pay $10 million. She said the damages awarded by the jury were “grossly disproportionate” to the injuries she suffered.

Medtronic MiniMed Insulin Pumps

Medtronic MiniMed insulin pumps have been the subject of litigation due to alleged malfunctions and defects. Some patients claimed the devices delivered incorrect dosages, leading to health complications. Medtronic faces ongoing legal challenges related to these pump systems.

On Sept. 20, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of the Medtronic MiniMed 600 Series pump system. According to the FDA, the company stated there was a vulnerability in the system that could allow unauthorized access. This cybersecurity flaw could result in someone directing the pump to provide too much insulin or too little. 

CPAP Machines

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are commonly used for sleep apnea treatment. In 2021, a recall was initiated for certain CPAP machines and ventilators manufactured by Philips Respironics due to potential health risks associated with the sound abatement foam used in the devices. These health risks included chronic headaches, sinus congestion, and more severe issues such as liver and kidney damage and respiratory infections. The recall affected millions of devices globally and led to legal actions.

Tens of thousands of people have filed CPAP lawsuits. The number is so large that a federal judge consolidated them into an MDL, or multidistrict litigation. An MDL makes the legal process much more streamlined, moving many cases into one court, argued before one judge. Phillips attempted to dismiss the MDL in December 2022, but the judge denied the motion. Litigation is ongoing.

Guidant Defibrillators

More than 200,000 patients in the U.S. undergo a defibrillator implant procedure each year. Guidant makes many of them. Defibrillators work by delivering a shock of electricity if they detect a change in a patient’s heart rhythm. 

Many patients are suing Guidant, a subsidiary of Boston Scientific. They claim some devices have defects that could lead to battery depletion or malfunctions, potentially putting patients at risk during life-threatening situations.

Steps to Take if a Medical Device is Defective

If a defective medical device has caused you harm, there are several things you should do as quickly as possible. These include the following:

Consult a Healthcare Professional

If you suspect a medical device is defective or causing health issues, please prioritize your health and safety. Seek immediate medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional, such as your primary care physician, specialist, or the medical facility where the device was implanted or used.

Describe the symptoms or problems you are experiencing and provide any relevant information about the medical device in question. Healthcare professionals are trained to identify potential issues related to medical devices and can provide appropriate medical advice and treatment.

Preserve the Device

After encountering a problem with the medical device, it's crucial to preserve the device itself and any associated components. Keep the medical device in a safe and secure place, and avoid tampering with it. Additionally, retain any packaging, labels, instructions, warranty information, and other documents related to the device. These items may serve as valuable evidence if you pursue legal action or report the issue to the manufacturer or regulatory authorities.

Report the Issue

Notify the healthcare provider and the device manufacturer about the problem you experienced with the medical device. Reporting the issue to the manufacturer is essential for tracking potential product defects and recalls.

Document Injuries

Record dates, symptoms, medical consultations, treatments received, and related expenses. Take photographs of visible injuries or physical evidence that may support your case. Detailed documentation can help establish a clear timeline of events. It can also provide evidence of the defective device's impact on your health and well-being. These records can be valuable during any subsequent legal or regulatory actions.

Contact an Attorney

If you believe a defective medical device has caused you harm or injury, consider seeking legal advice from an experienced lawyer. 

Product liability laws vary by jurisdiction. Navigating the legal process can be complex. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate your case, assess the strength of your claim, and advise you on your legal rights and options. They can also guide you through the necessary steps to pursue compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related losses. An attorney can represent your interests during negotiations with the manufacturer or in court.

Contact Osborne & Francis if a Dangerous Medical Device Injures You

At Osborne & Francis, we have a long track record of helping our clients obtain maximum compensation. We’ll do everything possible to do the same for you. Please call (561) 621-1385 or use our online contact form for a free case review.

E. Holland

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Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response...You are appreciated!

T. Andrews

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“Attorneys Greg Francis and Ryan Fletcher at Osborne & Francis Law Firm represented me in my personal injury case.The defendant drew a line in the sand and was adamant on a settlement amount I was almost willing to accept. After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, we settled for 3 times that amount!!! When they say ‘Real Tough Lawyers,’ they mean it.”

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“I am so thankful for EVERYONE, the entire staff at Osborne & Francis Law, for mentoring me through the mediation process with my hip replacement failures. I didn't realize how MUCH pressure they relieved me of by helping me deal with the reality of this traumatic time in my life, as it was OVER so quickly with a positive result. My family is grateful to have their mom HAPPY & FOCUSED on the future, rather than worrying over what happened in the past! FAST FORWARD, we are LIVING LIFE to the fullest once again!”

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