Choosing an Attorney
Medical devices, such as replacement knees or hips, are intended to help patients recover from debilitation or injury. The unfortunate reality is that these devices are increasingly the cause of ailments worse than the original condition.
At The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, our Boston defective medical device lawyers are committed to seeking compensation for those affected. We have successfully secured pre-trial settlements and favorable jury verdicts for numerous clients in these highly-technical, complex cases.
The defendants in these cases are often multi-billion dollar corporations with a huge stake in reducing the implications of any legal precedent your case could set. Sometimes, that can work in your favor by way of a substantial settlement. However, many companies are not afraid to pay exorbitant sums to mount an aggressive legal defense. The fact they have been battling these lawsuits for years also means they know well what will be expected in court, and they have fine-tuned their approach.
The good news for injured victims is that a courtroom is a forum intended to level the playing field. Here, money and prestige are no guarantee of a positive outcome for defendants. Still, the law firm you choose must have ample resources and employ skilled, experienced attorneys if there is any chance of your success. Our firm has proven our value to clients in this regard time and again.Medical Device Lawsuits
When you sue a medical device company, what you are alleging is product liability. This is the legal liability that a manufacturer or distributor incurs in producing or selling a product that is faulty or defective.
The idea is that when a consumer purchases and uses a product, it should be presumed safe to use as intended. If it can be shown the product was not safe and caused injury to someone, that individual (and sometimes, spouses or surviving loved ones) can pursue legal action against one or all of the following:
Claims are typically brought on the basis of one of the following theories:
- Strict Liability. Per this doctrine, manufacturers can be liable for a defective or dangerous product that injures a consumer, regardless of whether manufacturer was at-fault.
- Negligence. This doctrine holds the product maker or seller liable for product defects if they could have foreseen the defect and/or the resulting injury and failed to take appropriate action to warn customers or mitigate the risks.
- Warranty. This is a promise that comes with every product (can be express or implied) guaranteeing the product is fit for its intended use. When the product does not meet expectations and injury results, it can be cause for legal action.
With regard to medical products, we may allege one of the following:
- Design defect. There is an actual flaw in the design of the product.
- Manufacturing defect. The design is safe, but something happened during the production process that rendered it unsafe.
- Marketing defect. The safety risks and/or instructions for use weren’t properly outlined in the label or warning.
The process for proving these assertions is complicated and time-consuming due to the technical nature of these cases.Defendants in Joint Replacement Lawsuits
Too often, companies that make and sell medical devices are constantly rushing to introduce new products. However, they often fail to adequately these products to ensure they are safe before getting them on the market. Ultimately, it’s consumers who pay the price.
To understand the type of law firm you need to assist in your claim, here’s a brief outline of the defendants most commonly-named in joint replacement lawsuits:
- Biomet (Zimmer Biomet): An Indiana-based medical device manufacturer purchased by Zimmer for $13.4 billion in 2014.
- Zimmer: Based in Indiana and employs 9,000 people worldwide, with annual sales estimated about $3.62 billion.
- DePuy: A subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is one of the largest designers, makers and distributors of orthopedic devices. The company is the subject of an estimated 11,000 lawsuits related to faulty hip replacement systems. Annual revenue for the company is $5 billion. In 2015, surgical devices comprised nearly $14 percent of Johnson & Johnson’s revenue.
- Stryker: Maintaining a significant portion of the market share, this company has 22,000 employees globally and earns an estimated $8.7 billion annually.
The point is these firms have resources. You can win. Many already have. But you must be prepared.Choosing Your Lawyer
The attorney you choose to help obtain compensation for a defective knee replacement or a dangerous hip replacement should be well-versed in products liability law. Specifically, he or she should have experience in handling medical device cases.
In a free initial consultation, our lawyers can help you understand the strength or weakness of your case, explain your rights and outline the best legal strategy for the situation.
Some elements you will want to consider in making your choice:
- Experience and reputation of the attorney.
- How well the attorney communicates with and listens to your case and concerns.
- Whether you feel comfortable speaking with your attorney, as it is often necessary to divulge very personal information.
- The thoroughness with which the attorney analyzes your case.
- The historical record of the attorney and the law firm with settlements and verdicts in prior similar cases.
While you do want to properly vet any potential lawyer, understand that time is of the essence. Product liability cases have to be brought within three years of the cause of action, per Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 260 § 2A.