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Bad medical devices: what does it cost makers and hospitals?

The recent FDA warning regarding inferior vena cava filters may have piqued the interest of many of our more frequent readers. That's because, as the FDA pointed out in its warning earlier this month, patients have been encountering "adverse events" with the product that have resulted in "at least 30 deaths across the country and several hundred injuries," explains the Legal Examiner.

Though many across the nation are concerned about the wellbeing of patients with implants of this device, some, like our firm, are concerned about what problems this dangerous medical device could create for manufacturers and doctors. As you know now, these devices present a danger to patients who cannot use blood thinners to control clotting. Continued production and use of these devices could be considered negligence, which is grounds for civil litigation.

As most people are aware, personal injury and medical malpractice cases can be incredibly costly to the party being sued as well as the insurance company with whom the party has an insurance policy. Depending on the facts of the case and the amount being sought by the injured party, settlements can reach thousands or even hundreds-of-thousands of dollars. If a case goes to trial, a jury may award an even higher amount totaling $1 million or more in some cases.

While most people assume settlement awards are paid out by a medical device manufacturer, a doctor or a hospital, in many cases, the burden of paying a settlement falls on the shoulders of the insurance provider. This is oftentimes why insurance providers will insist on seeing all the facts of the case. Paying out a huge settlement is costly; but paying a settlement, when a policy holder should not have been held at fault, can be far more damaging to either party's reputation.

With defective medical devices, such as the inferior vena cava filters, manufacturers will need to make sure to correct the issue to prevent further cases of injury or death from cropping up. As for physicians, keen observation of patients and continued care will be key to preventing costly medical malpractice lawsuits down the road.

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