Covidien medical device manufacturer issued a recall on its popular TRS single use stapling heads this past week. According to reports the device has the potential of injuring “adjacent anatomical” areas around or within the thorax region. Manufacturers are liable for the sale, use and or distribution of a defective product
. If you have been injured from the use of this device contact a product liability attorney for more information, know your rights.
Wrongful Death Cause of Action
In certain cases a device failure can result in loss of life or the death of the plaintiff. In such cases his/her family will have a cause of action for a wrongful death
cause of action. Wrongful death cases will allow the heir or family members of the deceased party to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you feel that you have a wrongful death lawsuit it is important that you speak with a personal injury lawyer. Often times certain statute of limitations will apply to these cases.
Filing a Lawsuit – Manufacturer Liability
A manufacturer will be liable when they put into the stream of commerce a product which is defective. It is not required that the manufacturer actually know of the defect. It is merely required that we show a defect existed. Additionally, if the manufacturer knows of the defect and fails to take any action i.e. recall of the item, then you can potentially pursue punitive damages against them for injuries.
Product Liability v. Medical Malpractice:
It is also important to remember that a product liability case is not the same as a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice claims are against the Dr. and hospital, while product liability claims are against the manufacturer. It is important to remember that you can pursue both claims, however each has different elements.
Limitations on Recovery
: Product liability claims are not subject to MICRA caps or limits for recovery. Additionally product liability cases have longer statutes as compared to medical malpractice cases. In order to determine whether you have a product liability or medical malpractice case a full evaluation of your entire medical file is necessary.
Case Value – Average Settlement Amount in Cases Involving the Covidien Thoracic
How do you asses case value? Case value is often assessed using the following key indictors get a better value or understanding.
- Extent of injuries
- Age of plaintiff at the time of the accident
- Chances for recovery
- Negligence of device manufacturer
These are a few factors used to asses case value. For example the age of the plaintiff and extent of injuries are two very important elements for case value. Generally if the plaintiff is young and the injuries are permanent then it will add significant value to the case. Each of these criteria must be evaluated properly. Regardless of the value we place on a case it is always up to the jury and judge to determine its ultimate value. Our goal is to maximize the value of your injuries based on what you have gone through and the impact it has had on your life.
Filing a Lawsuit – Steps to Take if Injured by the Covidien Thoracic Device
If you have been injured there are some necessary steps you need to take immediately after to preserve your rights. Here is a list of the 5 important steps to take if you have been injured from a the use of the Covidien Thoracic TRS single staple device.
- Obtain your medical reports- any attorney who evaluates your case will need to have this information. Your medical reports and operative reports are essentially the fingerprint to your injury. It is from these reports that we can see whether the device was responsible for your injuries.
- Record all Dr. visits- often times you may visit a health professional that is not documented in your overall report. This is important information to keep for your own records in order to identify cause for injury and to develop the link between the injury and the device.
- Keep all communication between you and the manufacturer- often times when a product is recalled manufacturers will reach out to injured parties. This is primarily for 2 reasons. First, to minimize exposure. If the manufacturer is able to settle a claim without legal counsel being retained, they can usually do it for pennies on the dollar. Second, manufacturers have a duty to warn against a defective or dangerous device. Regardless of the communication make sure you keep these documents for your own records and share them with your attorney.
- Obtain autopsy reports when necessary- in certain unfortunate cases contact with the thoracic region can cause death. In these cases an autopsy report must be available in order to identify causation.
- Make no statements to any insurance claims adjuster- often time adjusters will attempt to reach out to you. In such cases they will attempt to get a recorded statement. These statements can be used to substantially harm your case and should be avoided at all cost. Speak to your attorney and let them know about this communication.
This is a condensed list of steps you should take following contact with this device. Make sure you contact the Downtown L.A. Law Group for a better understanding of your rights.
FDA Recall of Covidien Thoracic Device