Products are usually recalled because there are defects that raise the risk of injuries. In most cases, the products can cause small and slight damages. There are other factors that determine danger, though; for example, car defect are extremely dangerous and should be fixed immediately upon recall, as they run the risk of causing numerous deaths if they malfunction. On the other hand, surgical devices and implants are much smaller, but can still cause fatal results if they are not addressed or fixed.
Cochlear implants are a type of implant inserted into the ear to help individuals who have suffered hearing damage, but there have been various injuries reported due to device failures. If you have suffered injuries because of a defective cochlear implant, reach out to the Downtown LA Law Group today for more help. Our attorneys can help you file a cochlear implant lawsuit and will make sure that you are fairly represented throughout the case.
Cochlear Implant Information
A cochlear implant is intended to help those who suffer from hearing loss or hearing damage. The implant is surgically inserted under the skin behind the ear and connected to the auditory nerve, which transmits sound signals to the brain. However, the implant does not function like a hearing aid, which merely amplifies sound (or allows it to be reduced in volume). Instead, the sound processer receives sound signals and the brain interprets them; they are not exact sounds that are being received, and as a result, individuals must work to understand what they are.
Those who receive cochlear implants may have suffered trauma to the ear that caused them to lose hearing, or they may have been born with a hearing defect. Often, those who had no hearing trouble prior to an accident or condition report an easier time understanding the sounds and interpreting them. Many individuals of all ages have had the implants placed in their heads, but there were periods of time where recalls seemingly happened every month. If you were negatively affected by a cochlear implant defect, call our firm at (888) 649-7166 for help filing a lawsuit against the liable company.
Recall of Cochlear Implants
Companies like Advanced Bionics, Cochlear Americas, and MED-EL manufacture cochlear implants. The companies have had to recall several products because of various issues. For example, Advanced Bionics developed implants that were eventually shown to collect excessive moisture. In an electronic device that is so close to the brain, moisture can be devastating; it can cause a short circuit or it can cause nerve damage. There was one such recall that happened over the course of a year and a half. Advanced Bionics essentially allowed its product to be implanted into patients and faced the same problems for months. The timeline was as follows:
- January 2003: Cochlear implant component deemed unsafe and could potentially cause a leak or retain moisture
- March 2004: Advanced Bionics makes it public that it did not test the implants on human-like subjects
- August 2004: FDA conducts investigation into numerous implants and finds nearly 250 of them to be defective and collecting moisture
- September 2004: Advanced Bionics recalls its HiRes 90k implants
- November 2004: Advanced Bionics reintroduces the HiRes 90k implants to the market after claiming to have fixed the unexplained moisture problem
- February 2005: FDA sends another letter to Advanced Bionics; the company is seeing a massive shift away from its products because of the risks and damages
- Summer 2005: Advanced Bionics receives even more reports of failed implants, moisture buildup, defects, and more
Such an extensive timeline should indicate a recalled product was fixed, but there was no indication that the company ever fully fixed the implant. This is a huge problem, as it poses a danger to both old and new users. Those who already had the implants in may be injured by the past defects, while those who get the implant after its reintroduction could be hurt in different ways if they merely tried to sidestep the problem instead of fixing it. If you have a cochlear implant and the product was recalled, you should pay careful attention to your symptoms and injuries thereafter. If you suffer injuries, you could potentially take legal action against the manufacturer.
Symptoms and Injuries from Defective Cochlear Implants
Symptoms of cochlear implant problems are usually fairly specific. It is uncommon to feel these symptoms if you do not have a cochlear implant installed. They include:
- High pitched or amplified sounds within the inner ear
- Failure of the device
- Popping, static, or crackling noises in the air
- Facial pain
- Electric shocks to your face and ear
- Change of mood and behavior, especially in children
- Highly reduced hearing in patients
As a result, you could suffer some of the following damages from a malfunctioning cochlear implant:
- Cerobrospinal and perilymph fluid leaks
- Loss of all hearing altogether
- Infections and diseases from open wounds at the surgical site
- Pooling of blood or fluid at the inner ear or at the site of the surgery
- Dizziness, loss of balance, vertigo, and more
- Tissue death in the area near the implant due to necrosis
- Damage to the nerves in the face and ear
- Damage to the other senses, such as sight and taste
- Loss of feeling in the ear and surrounding area
- Reparative granuloma (inflammation due to rejection of the implant)
- Bacterial meningitis (swelling of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord)
These injuries can be devastating. We recommend pursuing legal action at once if you have been hurt because of a defective cochlear implant. Call our defective cochlear implant lawyers for more help.
What to Do to File a Claim
If you wish to sue a company for injuries caused by a malfunctioning cochlear implant, you should make sure you have ample evidence for your case. You should do the following:
- Hold on to the implant and do not let it be removed or thrown away, as it is the most important evidence you have
- Do not tamper with the product or try to get a third-party to fix it
- Get medical attention as soon as you get injured; a gap between the injury and the subsequent medical treatment can be problematic for your claim
- Hold on to your receipts, medical notes, surgical notes, credit card statements, and other details showing that you purchased the implant and had it installed
- Take pictures and videos of the injuries you suffered
- Get eyewitness statements
- Contact a skilled lawyer with experience in cochlear implant lawsuits
We do not recommend pursuing a defective cochlear implant lawsuit by yourself. You may not have any legal experience, which can greatly work against you. You should focus on healing and getting better while an attorney handles your case.
Statute of Limitations for Your Lawsuit
If you wish to file a product liability claim, you have two years from the date of the injury to take legal action against the company. However, in some cases, you may wish to file a medical malpractice lawsuit; this will need to be filed 1 year after the discovery of the injury or 3 years from the date of the injury itself. If you do not file a claim within this time limit, you will be barred from pursuing compensation in the future and will not have any restitution for your expenses. Common exceptions to the statute of limitations include being under age at the time of the injury (you could adhere to the statute when you turn 18 years old), being mentally or physically incapacitated after the injury (you could sue when you return to healthiness), and the defendant vacating or fleeing the state or country (you could sue when he returns, as the time limit would be temporarily frozen). If you do not know how much time you have left to file a claim, contact our lawyers for more help. We will help you make sure you do not miss a single important deadline.
Our team of defective cochlear implant lawyers at the Downtown LA Law Group has spent years handling lawsuits against implant companies for the defects that caused injuries in users. We will work to secure you every dime you deserve from the company and will fight for your restitution around the clock. If we need to go to court to win your case, we are willing to do so. Our aggressive lawyers are some of the most highly rated in town. If you need a free legal consultation with an expert lawyer, call us today. All your legal information and details are kept confidential, and none of your private statements or intentions will be shared elsewhere. We will also tell you more about our zero fee guarantee, which means we will cover the costs of the case from start to finish. We will only get our fees paid if we win, and if we lose, we don’t take any money at all. No matter what, you do not touch your own finances for payment. Contact our cochlear implant attorneys to file a lawsuit for a cochlear implant recall.