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Can You Sue a Medical Device Company for a Defective Product?

Oct 22, 2021 | Defective Product


Yes, you can sue a medical device company for a defective product if you sustain injury from that product. You’ll need to prove that you used the product according to instructions to win the lawsuit but there are plenty of medical device cases that set the precedent for future lawsuits.  


What to Know About Defective Products

Product manufacturers have a responsibility to complete thorough testing and ensure that the products they put on the market are safe for consumers. Consumers also have some responsibility to read directions and use the product as the company indicates. 

Indiana code 34-20-4-1 outlines what a defective product is. It must meet one of these conditions.

  • A reasonable person that the company expects will use the product could not foresee the incident
  • The consumer is using the product as designed but the product still presents a danger to the user


A reasonable person should use products cautiously. A rational person knows that they must follow the instructions for use and understand the limitations and risks of some products, such as kitchen knives. 


Given their nature, kitchen knives can be dangerous. But as a consumer, you expect them to work a certain way. So if they have a defect that leads the blade to fall off the handle while in use, you might have a defective product.


Defective Medical Products

Medical products undergo strict testing procedures. It often costs millions of dollars to get a drug to market or get a new type of medical device approved. Yet some still make it to market with defects or risks that the manufacturer fails to warn the user about.


There are three types of product liability defects that you might encounter. 

  1. Manufacturing defect
  2. Design defect
  3. Poorly marketed or defective drugs


No medical company can market its products for an “off-label” use or a use it is not approved for. Doing so could lead to injuries for the consumer. 


Examples of Defective Medical Device Product Lawsuits 

One of the largest defective medical device product lawsuits in recent history concerns 3M Combat Arms Earplugs. Military members used these earplugs from 2003 to 2015 and suffered hearing loss and tinnitus. 


The courts found that 3M had falsified test results for the earplugs and misrepresented some of the information from the tests. One of the largest problems with the marketing 3M used was that they didn’t use an independent lab to test the device. Federal law requires that approved devices use an independent lab. 


Thousands of people filed lawsuits against 3M presenting independent lab testing that the earplugs provided far less protection than the company claimed. And ultimately the U.S. Department of Justice ruled that 3M must pay individuals that were part of the lawsuit $9.1 million. 


There are currently active lawsuits for many other medical devices, including Stryker and Depuy for their hip replacement devices, a hernia mesh lawsuit currently amounting to $184 million, Philips for defective CPAP machines, and much more.


The key to having a medical device defective product lawsuit is that you’ve been harmed in some way. This could be because you did not get better as the device promised or that it led to other ailments, either physical or psychological. 


Free Consultation With a Defective Product Attorney

If you’ve been hurt by any type of medical device or other defective product, contact Stewart & Stewart as soon as possible. We’ll guide you toward any outstanding whistleblower or class action lawsuits related to those products or help you sue the company directly to recover financially from your defective product experience. 

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