Hollywood Screenwriter Settles Defective Medical Device Claim for $4.2 Million

Product liability claims for defective medical devices can arise under a number of different situations, but frequently come about when a medical device that was not properly tested injures a patient. This type of personal injury lawsuit is very common as the sale of medical devices is a massive industry that brings in approximately $85 billion-per-year, according to DrugWatch.com. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only lightly regulates medical devices, and once the FDA clears a particular medical device, physicians may use the the device however they deem fit.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 11.38.02 AM

According to StatNews.com, a defective medical device lawsuit filed in Southern California was recently settled outside of court for $4.2 million. In this case, the plaintiff was experiencing numbness and pain in his hands and went in for surgery to relieve the discomfort. Although the surgery initially appeared to be a success, the man later experienced trouble speaking, his left eye drooped, and he developed terrible pain in various body parts including his neck, arms, and hands. Experts determined that these unintended side effects were caused by the implant that surgeons had fused into the man’s neck in order to relieve his original hand pain. StatNews.com reports that the implant had not been approved to replace a bone in the neck, which is how it had been used in this case. The man settled his case with the hospital for $4.2 million, and with the manufacturer of the medical device, Medtronic, for an undisclosed amount.

 

Medical Devices and Off-Label Medical Device Uses

 

Although Medtronic has already settled the defective medical device claim outlined above outside of court, the company is also facing a whistleblower lawsuit which claims that the it gained approval for the device from the FDA under false pretenses and that the device is being regularly used for unintended purposes, reports StatNews.com. Plaintiffs in the case claim that the medical device was specifically labeled as “not for cervical spine use”, and yet the company made it known that the device was in fact meant to be used in the cervical spine based on marketing emails and the small size of the device itself. In rebuttal, Medtronic maintains that its company policy is to only promote their products for FDA approved purposes.

 

Types of Defective Product Liability Claims

 

If you have been injured by a defective medical device it is important to note that product liability claims for defective medical devices come in three different forms. The three types of defective product liability claims in the United States are:

  1. Defectively manufactured medical devices,
  2. Medical devices with a defective design, and
  3. Defectively marketed medical devices.

 

Need Legal Advice?

 

If you have been injured by a defective medical device and would like to file a personal injury claim, contact the Case Barnett Law Firm today. Our experienced personal injury lawyers would be happy to discuss your legal options with you during a free consultation. Our office in Newport Beach can be reached by calling (949) 861-2990.

Personal Injury Claims Filed Across California Due to Malfunctioning E-Cigarettes

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 9.31.07 AMIn the last few years electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes” as they are commonly called, have become increasingly popular across California. An e-cigarette is a cigarette-shaped device that vaporizes a nicotine based liquid that the user inhales in order to simulate the experience of smoking a traditional tobacco cigarette. While researchers are not sure of the long-term health ramifications associated with using e-cigarettes, many people are switching from traditional to electronic cigarettes because of perceived health benefits. However, e-cigarettes may pose an unexpected risk to your health. An article in the National Law Review reports that there are a rising number of e-cigarette malfunctions occurring in California. Malfunctions are occurring in a number of different ways, including exploding and catching fire, and are causing serious bodily injuries. As a result, product liability lawsuits for personal injury claims are being filed across California.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 9.31.18 AM

Malfunctioning E-Cigarettes

 

The National Law Review reports that numerous e-cigarettes have exploded or caught fire due to a defective heating element. E-cigarettes work by heating a nicotine based liquid to its boiling point via a heating element that is often powered by a lithium ion battery. If the battery overheats it can combust or explode. A malfunctioning e-cigarette can be particularly dangerous due to the fact that users generally hold the device in their hand or between their lips while smoking.

 

California’s Product Liability Laws

 

In California, as in other states, we have product liability laws designed to protect consumers who are injured by a product that has a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or did not include sufficient warnings or instructions. These laws generally hold manufacturers, as well as sellers and retailers involved in the product’s chain of distribution, liable for compensating parties who are injured by their product. However, before an injured party can win their case, they must prove that their injury was caused by a defect in the product. Because California embraces a strict liability approach to product liability claims, the injured party does not need to show that the defendant was negligent in allowing the product to be unreasonably dangerous.

 

California’s Statute of Limitations

 

Most states have statutes of limitation that limit the timeframe in which an injured party can file a personal injury claim based on a defective product. In California, under California’s Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1, there is a statute of limitations that bars recovery for product liability claims that are filed more than two years after the injury was discovered. Therefore, if you have been injured by an e-cigarette in California do not wait too long before filing your lawsuit or else you may not be able to recover compensation for your injuries.

 

Need Legal Advice?

 

If you have been injured by a malfunctioning e-cigarette in California and would like to discuss your legal rights, contact the Case Barnett Law Firm today. Our experienced personal injury lawyers would be happy to meet with you during a free consultation. Our office in Newport Beach can be reached by calling (949) 861-2990.

Personal Injury Claims and Pokémon Go

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 2.03.14 PM.pngAs the Pokémon GO craze sweeps the nation, young and old alike are taking to the streets in mass in search of the elusive Pokémon. In case you haven’t heard, Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game produced by Nintendo that users play on their smartphones. The app encourages its users to go out into the real world in search of virtual Pokémon characters that can only be seen by looking through the camera on your phone. The game is wildly popular and, according to the Newport Beach Indy, boasts 30 millions downloads and $35 million in revenue in less than a month. The Newport Beach Indy also notes that there are several popular spots in Newport Beach where Pokémon can be found including Balboa Island, Dover Shores, Newport Beach Civic Center, and Crystal Cove State Park.

 

While Pokémon GO is undoubtedly fun, and can take credit for getting its users off the couch and out of the house, users are becoming so engrossed in the game that some people aren’t paying enough attention to their surroundings and are getting hurt. Dopplr.com reports that a rash of concerning personal injuries have been reported across the country including:

  • July 12: Teenage girl breaks her collarbone and foot in Pennsylvania after being hit by a car while playing Pokémon GO.
  • July 12: Teenager is bitten by snake while playing Pokémon GO in Texas.
  • July 12: A man in New York is injured after crashing his car into a tree while playing Pokémon GO.
  • July 13: Two distracted men survive a fall off of a cliff in southern California while playing Pokémon GO.
  • July 18: A distracted driver hits a police car while playing Pokémon GO in Baltimore.

 

Can Nintendo Be Held Liable For These Injuries?

 

While reports of Pokémon GO related injuries continue to surface, many people are wondering if Nintendo will soon be facing a rash of personal injury lawsuits? An interesting report from CNN claims that the liability issues surrounding augmented reality games, such as Pokémon GO, represent a new legal frontier. The report notes that the Pokémon GO app contains a comprehensive Terms of Service Agreement that users are required to agree to before they are allowed to play the game. Nintendo’s Terms of Service Agreement protects the company from being sued by its users for property damage, injuries, and even death. In other words, users agree to play Pokémon GO at their own risk. However, CNN points out that non-users do not sign the Terms of Service Agreement and are therefore are not precluded from suing if they are injured by Pokémon GO players. These non-users may potentially be able to sue the app or even be sued themselves. While Nintendo has tried its best to shield itself from liability, so many people are being injured while playing Pokémon GO that we will likely see at least a few related lawsuits surface in the near future. These lawsuits will help define how much liability videogame makers incur for augmented reality games.

 

Need Legal Advice?

 

If you are interested in pursuing a personal injury claim in southern California, contact the Case Barnett Law Firm today for a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers are committed to obtaining justice for our clients and would be happy to discuss your legal options with you. Our office in Newport Beach can be reached at (949) 861-2990.

 

See Related Links

 

Can I Sue For A Slip and Fall in a Public Place?