June 13, 2011
The Bureau of National Affairs Product Safety & Liability Reporter has published an article explaining recent decisions by federal appellate courts concerning the rights of people injured by defective medical devices. One of the cases featured is Bausch v. Stryker Corp., 630 F. 3d 546 (2010). In Bausch, a woman alleged she was injured after an artificial hip that was recalled by the manufacturer broke while inside her body. The trial court dismissed the woman's lawsuit reasoning that since the FDA had given the manufacturer permission to sell this type of medical device it could not be found defective by a jury, even if the manufacturer violated the FDA's safety rules when it manufactured the device.
Rapoport Law Offices, P.C., which represents the injured woman, appealed the trial court's decision, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding that victims of defective medical devices do have the right to bring a claim against a manufacturer that broke the FDA's safety rules. Earlier this year, Joshua L. Weisberg, who argued the case on behalf of Bausch in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, published an article in the Trial Journal of The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association explaining how the court's decision helps protect the public from defective medical devices. Unfortunately, the BNA article notes that some other federal appellate courts have ruled in favor of medical device manufacturers rather than the victims of defective medical devices on this issue.