A Philadelphia jury recently awarded $34 million in damages to a woman injured by a defective medical device. The device was a blood filter that was designed to prevent blood clots from traveling into the woman’s lungs. The filter was designed and intended to be removable, but in 2016, doctors were unable to remove the device after a three-hour medical procedure. The device punctured her inferior vena cava vein (one of the main veins into your heart) as well as her aorta, renal vein, and pancreas. The woman’s attorney argued that the device could cause organ failure and even death so long as it remains in her body.
Shifting the Blame
The plaintiff claimed that the manufacturer, Rex Medical, knew that the device was potentially dangerous and could become embedded in patients and extremely difficult to remove. The lawsuit also claimed that the manufacturer failed to do sufficient clinical testing to ensure it was safe and failed to warn consumers of the potential hazards.
In response, Rex Medical claimed that the surgeons who originally implanted the device failed to do so properly. They also argued that the plaintiff did not pursue the recommended follow-up care.
Rex Medical’s position illustrates how frustrating these cases can be. The manufacturer refused to take responsibility for their own device, choosing instead to blame the surgeons and the plaintiff herself.
Breaking Down the Damages Award
Interestingly, the jury recognized Rex Medical’s abhorrent behavior and awarded the plaintiff over $30 in punitive damages. In addition, the jury also awarded over $3 million in compensation for future medical expenses and pain and suffering.
The defendant could appeal the verdict, and it’s highly likely they will appeal the award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to act as a punishment in cases where the defendant has engaged willfully negligent behavior or has acted with disregard for the safety of others. Rex Medical will likely argue that their actions do not warrant an award of punitive damages.
Regardless, this case also illustrates that victims are entitled to damages for their anticipated future medical expenses and pain and suffering. The plaintiff’s future health could be permanently compromised and she faces severe health risks as a result of this defective device. She deserves to be made whole. However, it can be difficult for non-lawyers to formulate the value of this claim, especially when it comes to pain and suffering. An experienced defective medical device lawyer can help you seek the correct amount in order to get the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Georgia Defective Medical Device Lawyer
Defective medical device cases can be complicated. With millions of dollars in damages and even more in potential profits at stake, you can expect stiff resistance from the product’s manufacturers and the medical establishment at large. This is why you need someone on your side who knows how to fight for your rights and, more importantly, how to get results.
The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd have been helping people injured by defective medical devices in the Atlanta area and across the state of Georgia since 1992. If you believe you’ve been injured by a defective medical device, call us at 888-474-9616 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.