My hip was recalled. Now what?
Product liability is a common reason for personal injury lawsuits in the U.S. Each year, roughly 40 million lawsuits are filed by consumers who are injured by faulty products. It is much easier to deal with products used externally when there is a defect in their design or manufacturing. What happens when the product that is not working as intended (or outright causing harm or further injury) is implanted inside your body? It is scary to think about, but unfortunately, it happens.
A perfect case in point is some recalls and lawsuits over defective hip replacements. Some of the most popular hip replacement manufacturers faced recalls and lawsuits in recent years. It is better for consumers when defects are discovered before they end up in your body. Once a defective hip replacement part is inside you, it can cause added pain and suffering if it must be removed or repaired. When that happens, consumers turn to personal injury law firms to help recover costs associated with additional surgery, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Different types of product liability
Three main types of product defects can lead to recalls and product liability personal injury lawsuits.
- Design defects are serious and denote an entire product was either poorly designed or never tested for safety and efficacy before hitting the market. This type of product defect has the potential to cause serious injury to consumers and even death depending on the severity of the defect. For this reason, consumers tend to receive larger settlements and court-awarded damages for design defects.
- Manufacturing defects happen when the product was designed well, but something went wrong in the manufacturing process. Manufacturing defects can affect all products or just a few on the assembly line. It depends on what the issue with manufacturing was on whether every product is affected or a select few from a certain “batch.”
- Marketing defects are part of the warning labels for products. Consumers are familiar with product packaging that includes instructions for assembly (when applicable) and proper use and safety guidelines. Product manufacturers who fail to include this information – or who omit important details that can cause someone to misuse a product – can be liable for that omission if it leads to injury or death.
Just because a product is defective does not mean it will cause an injury or death. The responsibility for recalling a product lies with the producer, manufacturer, and importer of the product. If any of these parties know of a defect and fail to alert consumers, they can face product liability lawsuits from consumers and potential punitive action from the U.S. government.
Most common types of hip replacement recall
Modern medicine is amazing. There was a time when, if you had a hip injury, you had to live with the debilitating pain and decreased mobility. Now, there are options for products designed to restore range of motion and help you live an active, pain-free lifestyle.
Just because these devices exist does not mean they work perfectly. Increased failure rates for hip replacement parts – especially the metal-on-metal designs – are becoming more commonplace. Sometimes patients suffer from metal poisoning.
While designers and manufacturers of hip replacement products are compelled toward safety, the Food and Drug Administration does not require premarket testing for hip implants. That means if there is an issue the designers or manufacturers did not anticipate, it will not be discovered until after consumers are using the product. Early failure rates for hip replacement products are one of the main reasons consumers filed lawsuits in recent years. Some consumers have claimed manufacturers had or should have had prior knowledge of increased health risks associated with their products. The recent recalls and subsequent consumer lawsuits over Zimmer hip replacements are one such example.
Increased risk with medical part recalls
Returning a faulty hip is not the same as returning a toaster with wiring issues or a car with a design flaw to the place where those items were purchased. When the product that is causing you pain or further injury is inside your body, it creates a whole new layer of difficulty and risk to the consumer.
When your hip joint is worn or damaged, it can affect your mobility and cause pain when moving or resting. Some people suffer from conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, putting them at higher risk for needing a hip replacement.
The decision to perform hip replacement surgery is not made lightly by healthcare professionals because they know the risks associated with the surgery and the long recovery process that lies ahead. Recovery from hip replacement surgery takes between two and four weeks. That is only if the patient has no extenuating circumstances or pre-existing conditions that can slow progress.
If a hip replacement involves a defective part that requires removal, repair, or total replacement, patients must start the process all over again. This is understandably upsetting. Every week you are off work for recovery is a potential week without pay. Some employers may provide paid time off for illness and injury and some may not.
Consumers injured by faulty hip replacements should consult with medical, legal professionals in Albuquerque
Personal injury lawyers can help if you are the victim of a faulty hip replacement part. If you receive notice of a recall or begin to experience issues after you have a hip replacement, contact an attorney experienced in product liability to review your options. It is important to contact an attorney before you make any decisions about how to handle the faulty hip replacement. If you must have revision or replacement surgery to fix the issue, you may be entitled to compensation and other damages. Our experienced product liability attorneys can help ensure you receive fair compensation and treatment throughout the entire process. Call us today at 505-218-7844 to schedule your free consultation.