Defective Medical Devices
Johnson City Attorneys Representing Victims of Dangerous Products
If you or a family member has suffered harm due to a defective or dangerous medical device, you probably have many questions. Can I sue the manufacturer who made the product? Do I have a medical malpractice case against the doctor who recommended the device? How much time do I have to sue? The injury attorneys at the Meade Law Group are experienced in medical device cases, and can assist you as you pursue compensation in Johnson City or elsewhere in East Tennessee.
Medical Malpractice Issues in Medical Device Cases
Because medical device lawsuits may be a combination of product liability and medical malpractice claims, they can be complex and expensive to litigate. Medical malpractice cases require a claimant to prove all four of the traditional elements of a negligence case (duty, breach of duty, damages, and causation) but have the heightened requirements of expert testimony and a good faith certificate verifying that an expert has been consulted and believes there is cause for suit based upon available information prior to filing.
In most instances, a potential claimant has just one year to discover an act of medical negligence, gather medical records together, hire an expert to review the records and make a determination as to whether the claimant’s health care provider(s) followed the standard of care applicable to his or her community or a similar community, and prepare the proper paperwork for suit. There are a few limited exceptions to the one-year statute of limitations, but the exceptions apply to unusual circumstances such as cases in which a doctor fraudulently concealed an act of negligence or left an object inside a patient’s body.
Defective Medical Devices and Product Liability Law
In addition to issues of medical malpractice against health care providers, a patient hurt by a faulty medical device may also have a claim against the parties who sold and/or manufactured the device.
Product liability claims can include allegations of:
- Defective design;
- Manufacturing defects;
- Breach of warranty (express or implied);
- Failure to warn or failure to properly instruct;
- Misrepresentation, concealment, or nondisclosure; and/or
- Breach of contract.
Tennessee law says that a product is in "defective condition" if it is unsafe for normal or anticipated handling and consumption. “Manufacturers” include the assembler, designer, compounder, fabricator, producer, processor, and/or assembler of the end product or the product’s component parts. "Sellers" include distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.
Claims may be asserted for personal injury, wrongful death, and property damages arising from the design, manufacture, construction, assembly, testing, marketing, packaging and/or labeling of a product. In order for a court to rule that a product is “unreasonably dangerous," the claimant must prove that danger posed by the product is beyond that which an ordinary consumer would expect under normal circumstances. Alternatively, the claimant may show that, due to the dangerous nature of the product, a reasonably prudent seller or manufacturer would not have put the product on the market, had such manufacturer or seller been aware of the dangerous propensity of the product.
The statute of limitations for asserting a product liability claim can vary depending upon the particular product and claim asserted. Most actions fall under the one-year statute of limitations, but some may also be governed by a statute of repose. This means that the period for filing suit may be extended beyond one year in certain situations but usually no longer than ten years from the date of the product was manufactured. There is also an exception to this, insomuch as claims involving asbestos exposure or silicone breast implants may have a longer statute of repose (25 years).
Contact a Defective Medical Device Lawyer in Johnson City
If you have been the victim of a defective medical device that was supposed to help you but instead made your condition worse, you should know that the Meade Law Group is here to help. We will represent you in seeking damages for the injuries you have sustained due to the use of a dangerous product. Based in Johnson City, our lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced, yet understanding about what you have been through. We accept most cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we are paid a percentage out of any settlement or judgment that you receive rather than an upfront retainer.
If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation, phone us today at (423) 464-7779 or email us. We welcome clients from Kingsport, Greeneville, and Bristol, as well as other cities in East Tennessee.