Who is Liable for Defective Surgically Implanted Medical Devices?

July 21, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Who is Liable for Defective Surgically Implanted Medical Devices? Multiple medical device manufacturers have issued massive recalls for defective knee and hip replacement products after their devices malfunctioned or deteriorated, causing pain and injury. It is understandable that many knee or hip replacement recipients want someone to hold them accountable for the financial, physical, and emotional costs they have sustained as a result of pain and injury caused by a defective medical device.  While negligent manufacturers like Stryker, Exactech, Omnilife, Aesculap, and Smith & Nephew are often the target of such product liability lawsuits, they are not necessarily the only liable party. If you or a loved one has received a defective surgically implanted knee or hip implant, Dolman Law Group encourages you to reach out to our team for personalized legal advice concerning your claim for damages.

Who Can I Sue If My Surgically Implanted Medical Device Fails or is Deemed Defective?

Thousands of recipients of these defective surgically implanted devices have filed product liability lawsuits in order to recover the cost of damages like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Some medical device manufacturers, like Stryker, have already paid out millions of dollars in damages after plaintiffs alleged that the metal-on-metal design was causing injury and ultimately malfunctioning. However, negligent medical device manufacturers are not the only party who have a hand in creating surgically implanted orthopedic devices. Other potentially liable parties may include:
  • The distributor who purchased the defective product from the manufacturer and sold it to entities like hospitals
  • The designer who failed to create a safe product 
  • The retailer who sold the defective product to consumers, which in this case would look like hospitals “selling” flawed knee or hip implants to their patients
If other parties, such as surgeons or nurses, failed to provide the standard of care while surgically implanting a defective medical device, they can also face accusations of negligence in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Makers of Surgically Implanted Medical Devices Have Failed Knee and Hip Replacement Patients

The makers of surgically implanted orthopedic devices, such as knee and hip replacements, have a duty to patients to design, and produce safe products that include proper warnings of their risks. When they fail, they can be found liable and compelled to pay damages to the recipient of the defective device in a product liability lawsuit

Understanding Product Liability Lawsuits Against Makers of Defective Medical Devices 

Product liability lawsuits depend on being able to demonstrate that a preponderance of the evidence indicates the negligent party's actions were directly linked to the impact of the defective product on the plaintiff. Without a clear connection between a duty of care, a breach of that duty, and the resulting injury and damages, a defective hip or knee device lawsuit can be dismissed or a settlement diminished. Establishing liability is often a complex process. Thus far, plaintiffs in the defective knee and hip orthopedic device lawsuits have alleged that the makers of these medical implants failed to properly test their products, designed them in such a way that they failed and caused injury or illness, and knowingly sold these flawed products despite their potential for serious damage. A skilled hip and knee orthopedic device attorney will be able to help you collect the evidence necessary to support your claim in order to recover damages.

Defective Medical Devices Have Caused Pain and Injury to Patients

Knee and hip replacement surgeries are among the most common surgeries to repair joints. Joints may deteriorate with age, injury, or because of chronic conditions like arthritis. Unfortunately, defective knee and hip implant devices have caused significant injury and pain to thousands of recipients who wanted to improve their functionality and quality of life.  A typical knee or hip replacement device is supposed to last for 15 to 20 years, but many plaintiffs experienced pain or injury associated with defective implants within a few years of their initial surgery. Manufacturers like Smith & Nephew and Exactech have issued recalls, but for many recipients of the defective surgically implanted knee or hip devices, the damage was already done. 

Examples of Issues Related to Defective Medical Devices:

In many cases, recipients of defective hip or knee replacement implants have had to endure a second surgery, known as revision surgery, to replace the defective products. Surgery comes with inherent risks and is often accompanied by additional medical bills, pain, and stress. This can take a serious toll on your mental health as well as your physical health, leading to emotional injuries like depression.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Defective Surgically Implanted Device Lawsuit?

After receiving a defective knee or hip implant, you may be facing the prospect of missing weeks of work to recover from revision surgery, make significant budget sacrifices to pay back medical debt, or deal with chronic pain related to the malfunctioning of your flawed implant. Many people incur both economic and non-economic damages, which are both considered a form of compensatory damages Economic damages are easily quantified because they have a pre-determined monetary value, such as the cost of a missed paycheck. Non-economic damages are more subjective in nature, which often means that you will need more evidence to demonstrate the value of the emotional cost. If you are forced to make permanent lifestyle changes, such as giving up running marathons or being confined to a wheelchair, those would be considered non-economic damages.

Examples of Damages in a Defective Knee or Hip Replacement Lawsuit:

  • Medical bills
    • Surgery
    • Medication
    • Mobility aids
    • Hospital stays
    • Home modifications
    • Ambulance rides
    • Home healthcare aide
  • Job-related losses
    • Lost wages
    • Reduced earning capacity
    • Missed promotions
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life

Why Should I Hire Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Defective Implanted Medical Device Lawsuit?

The makers of defective products may be motivated to deflect responsibility or stall negotiations to avoid paying out a larger settlement. Having a medical device lawyer with experience negotiating these types of claims can significantly increase the outcome of your settlement because you will have the benefit of their expertise and resources. Dolman Law Group is a trusted Florida personal injury law firm with over a decade of experience successfully settling personal injury claims for maximum compensation. We know how important it is to recover the full value of your damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, which is why make it our mission to negotiate until we reach a fair settlement agreement. Dolman Law Group has grown substantially as a result of word-of-mouth recommendations from former clients. We have earned our reputation as relentless, compassionate negotiators based on our reliable legal insight, straightforward communication style, and willingness to go the extra mile to make sure our clients' needs are met. 

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Defective Implanted Medical Device Lawsuit

Our knee and hip medical device attorneys have the experience and work ethic required to recover the maximum compensation you deserve so you can reclaim your life. We won't hesitate to take on powerful manufacturers in negotiations or in court to recover the true value of your losses. The product liability lawyers of Dolman Law Group are known as strategic, dedicated advocates who treat our clients with the respect they deserve. We are committed to protecting our clients' rights, providing high-quality legal advice, and recovering maximum compensation. If you have received a defective knee or hip implant, you may be wondering “Can I sue if my knee or hip replacement device is recalled?” Dolman Law Group can answer any questions you may have concerning liability, the value of your damages, and how to file a knee or hip replacement lawsuit. Reach out to our team by phone at (727) 451-6900 or contact us anytime through our website. 


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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