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Defective Medical Device Claims

Anyone who requires a medical device, regardless of purpose, has a right to expect that the manufacturer has fully tested all elements of its design and that it is fitted in accordance with their specifications and recommendations.  But what happens if a device is surgically implanted and later becomes defective or was faulty in design?  Any individual in such a situation should seek both medical and legal advice.  If it can be shown that the patient was a victim of negligence in relation to the medical device, they may be entitled to recourse for the losses suffered.

What type of medical devices could be defective?

All medical devices must be designed, tested, and implanted in a clinically safe manner.  Within the EU, medical device companies, regardless of where they are based, must carry the CE mark.  To carry this mark, the organisation must meet the essential requirements of all relevant European Medical Device Directives. 

Broadly speaking there are four categories of medical devices, as follows:

  • Non-invasive devices – e.g. Corrective glasses and frames, wheelchairs, walking aids, dressings.
  • Invasive medical devices (for short, medium, or long-term use) – e.g. stents, surgical tools, prosthetic joints, intra-ocular lenses, aneurysm clips, breast implants, total hip, knee and shoulder joint replacement systems.
  • Active medical devices – e.g. TENS devices, hearing aids, muscle stimulators, incubators.
  • Special Rules – including contraceptive, disinfectant, and radiological diagnostic medical devices.

The above list only covers a small number of the vast range of items that are defined as medical devices.  Such devices do not need to be highly technical in nature; indeed, a suture or plaster can be considered a medical device.  When considering a claim for a defective medical device, it is not only faulty long-term components which are surgically implanted that can form the basis of a medical negligence claim.  Many of the devices within any of the four categories above, if not designed, manufactured, used, or implanted correctly, could cause serious long-term injury.

Can I bring a claim for defective medical device negligence?

You may be able to bring a claim if it can be proven:

  • The device used was in any way defective, and this led you to suffer injury and loss.
  • Your medical device did not conform to the necessary safety standards, and you suffered injury / loss as a result or;
  • The surgeon who implanted it failed to do so in the manner of a competent doctor and you suffered injury / loss as a result. 

How Lavelle Partners can assist you following medical negligence due to a defective medical device:

  • Lavelle Partners have successfully managed many cases involving medical negligence due to defective medical devices.
  • Our personal injury team, headed by partner, Avril Scally, who herself has over 15 years’ experience in medical negligence claims, place client care at the centre of everything they do.
  • From the first moment you speak to one of our solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case.
  • We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by those affected by Defective Medical Devices.
  • Our solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes and managing the submission of your medical negligence claim.
  • We will answer any subsequent questions and/or provide further information if required.
    By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important – your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.

For further information on making a claim following medical negligence due to a defective medical device in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at [email protected]

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.

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