Have you been injured by a defective medical device? Every year, hundreds of thousands are injured or killed by these dangerous devices. You may be entitled to financial damages for your pain, lost earnings, medical bills, and more.
Catania & Catania, P.A. has represented injured patients and families in Tampa, FL, for over 28 years. Contact our Tampa personal injury office at (813) 222-8545 for a free case evaluation to discuss what we can do to help you.
How Catania & Catania, P.A. Can Help if You Have Been Injured by a Defective Medical Device in Tampa
Sometimes a medical device that should have improved your life and health instead causes serious injury. In these cases, the manufacturer should be held accountable for your losses. However, you may face an uphill battle recovering compensation—manufacturers and insurance companies invest significant resources in fighting defective device claims.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers in Tampa can help you level the playing field and take over the fight while you focus on your recovery.
Catania & Catania, P.A. has decades of experience handling complex medical malpractice and product liability cases. Our award-winning firm holds the Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent rating and the 2020 Silver Client Champion award. Because our firm is small, you get the resources and personal attention your case needs to be successful.
You can count on our law firm to:
- Give you the dependable legal advice and support you need
- Handle all court filings, administrative tasks, and communications on your behalf
- Identify how the device was dangerous or defective
- Determine if your case qualifies for a class action lawsuit
- Negotiate on your behalf to seek a fair settlement offer
- Take your case before a jury if a fair offer can’t be reached
You do not need to fight the insurance company alone. Call Catania & Catania, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation with a Tampa dangerous medical device lawyer for the help you deserve.
Overview of Product Liability in Florida
Florida product liability law holds manufacturers, distributors, and retailers accountable for defective products that injure consumers. A product liability claim can involve anything from dangerous drugs and medical devices to toys, vehicles, appliances, tools, and furniture.
Specifically, Florida holds manufacturers strictly liable for defective or dangerous products. This means the manufacturer can be financially liable for damages even if they were not negligent.
What is a Defective Medical Device?
Medical devices are devices used to treat a disease, disability, illness, or injury.
This includes implements, instruments, machines, and apparatus used to:
- Treat or diagnose a condition or disease, or
- Affect the body’s structure or function without chemical action.
To be considered defective, a medical product must be unreasonably dangerous due to one of the following.
- Defect in manufacturing. This refers to mistakes during the manufacturing process that affect one or more devices.
- Defect in design. This refers to an inherent design flaw that makes the product unsafe.
- Failure to warn. This means manufacturers did not give consumers sufficient warning and instruction about the dangers of using the product.
Not all defective medical device claims involve strict liability. Injured consumers can also pursue compensation from a manufacturer if they were negligent.
Common Types of Defective Medical Devices
Almost any type of medical device can cause injury or death when it is defective or dangerous.
Common defective medical devices include:
- Surgical mesh
- Implanted insulin pumps
- Metal-on-metal hip replacements
- Knee replacement implants
- Breast implants
- IVC filters
- Heart stents
- Heart valves
- Spinal stimulators
The FDA maintains a list of recalled medical devices. However, a product may still be dangerous even if it is never recalled.
What are the Consequences of a Dangerous Medical Device?
A dangerous medical device can have life-changing side effects and consequences. Patients may face everything from intense pain and serious complications to catastrophic injuries, revision surgery, permanent impairment, and wrongful death.
In the case of transvaginal mesh, patients have suffered injuries such as organ perforation and infection. Metal-on-metal hip implants have caused bone damage and may cause metal poisoning linked to cancer and neurological disorders.
When defective medical devices are implanted, patients are generally forced to undergo revision surgery. This comes with the typical risks of surgery for patients who may already be at high risk of complications.
How Common are Defective Medical Devices?
Medical devices go through FDA approval, but it is surprisingly easy for defective and dangerous devices to make it to the market. The fast-track 510(k) process allows manufacturers to push devices onto the market without the more stringent and time-consuming premarket approval (PMA) process.
The 510(k) process allows a device to skip testing and approval if it is “substantially equivalent” to something already approved on the market. However, the predicate products that can be counted toward fast-tracking a device may be outdated or even recalled for a dangerous design.
Between 2008 and 2017, dangerous medical devices caused 1.7 million injuries and 83,000 deaths that were reported to the FDA. Just six of the 4,000 types of FDA-approved medical devices were responsible for nearly 25% of these injuries. This includes insulin pumps, surgical mesh, spinal stimulators, prosthetic hips, and defibrillators.
What is My Tampa Defective Medical Device Case Worth?
There is no way to estimate the value of your case without a careful assessment of many factors like:
- The type of defect
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether you have a case under strict liability or negligence
- The impact your injuries will have on your long-term quality of life, health, and ability to work
- Whether your case qualifies for a class action
Contact our Tampa dangerous medical device lawyers today for a free case evaluation. We will help you understand your case’sworth and the damages you may be entitled to.
What Compensation Can I Recover for a Defective Medical Device Injury in Tampa, Florida?
Manufacturers of dangerous medical devices can be held financially liable for all the losses you suffered as a result of your injury. This includes your economic damages for financial losses and non-economic damages for personal losses.
Damages that may be available in your dangerous medical device case include:
- Medical bills, which includes future medical needs related to your injuries
- Lost earnings
- Reduced earning capacity if you suffer impairment or disability
- Non-economic losses, including mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, pain, suffering, distress, scarring, and disfigurement
Nothing can erase the pain you have suffered or the impact your injury will have on your life. However, Catania & Catania, P.A. is committed to pursuing the full compensation you need to protect your quality of life and get the care you deserve.
How Do I Prove a Dangerous Medical Device Claim in Tampa, FL?
There are many parties that may share financial liability for injuries caused by a defective medical device. This can include the manufacturer, designer, retailer, or distributor of the device. Sometimes these product liability cases overlap with medical malpractice claims. In this case, a hospital, clinic, physician, or other healthcare providers may be liable.
If your case is based on strict product liability, it is not necessary to prove the manufacturer or distributor was negligent.
You must prove:
- The defendant was part of the chain of distribution of the device
- The device had a design, manufacturing defect, or marketing defect
- This defect was the proximate cause of the injury you sustained
- You suffered losses
It is also possible to bring a case alleging the manufacturer’s negligence caused your injuries. If a dangerous device does not qualify for a strict liability claim, you may still have a case if the manufacturer failed to perform adequate testing, for instance.
Product liability cases are notoriously complex and generally require expert testimony to describe how and why the product was unreasonably dangerous.
How Long Do I Have to File a Defective Medical Device Lawsuit in Florida?
The Florida statute of limitations gives you four years to file a product liability case. This deadline starts on the date you knew or should have known about your injury. There are some exceptions to this deadline.
If you also have a medical malpractice case, it must be filed within two years of discovering your injury but no more than four years from the date of the malpractice.
Contact a Tampa Defective Medical Device Lawyer for a Free Consultation
When the medical device you count on to improve your health causes you harm, the manufacturer should be held accountable. Catania & Catania, P.A. has decades of experience taking on big medtech and insurance companies.
Please contact our law office today for a free consultation with a Tampa defective medical device lawyer. We will give you the personal attention you deserve.