Defective Medical Products

From contaminated  blood products to defective artificial hip implants, year after year the danger posed by defective medical products is made clear by the increasing number of patients who suffer adverse outcomes in medical care.

Overall, few areas of human endeavour are more carefully regulated and few categories of product are manufactured under closer scrutiny than in the biomedical and health sciences industry but with many tens of thousands of products, ranging from vascular stents to radioactive isotopes, aspirin pills to complex immunosuppressant pharmaceuticals, there is still great scope for error and when those errors occur, the consequences for patients can be very serious and for some, fatal.

Defective products cases are different from the typical clinical negligence case where one is criticizing the quality of care that a patient has received in direct human terms. A Defective Product case is usually not taken against a hospital authority or a doctor but rather against the distributor or manufacturer of a product used in the treatment of a patient.

The law in this area is governed by the Liability for Defective Products Act 1991.

 In such cases, while one may not need to establish a preliminary opinion from a medical expert that there has been a lapse in the expected standard of care, it will often be necessary to get engineering or other scientific evidence and expert opinions to identify a defect in the design or manufacture of a product and be able to show that the defect caused the harm or injury complained of to the patient. 

Defective products cases tend to occur in groups or batches because when something goes wrong in the design or manufacture of medical products, many people tend to be affected at once. In Ireland, our legal system does not provide for  “class actions” where groups of plaintiffs band together to bring a lawsuit. Such group actions are common in the USA, however in Ireland, plaintiff’s tend to bring separate claims while overall sharing in the pool of knowledge gathered within specific law firms on a particular issue.

Where a practice such as Cian O'Carroll Solicitors acts for numerous patients affected by a particular defective product such as in the recent DePuy artificial hip recalls, the cost of establishing the scientific evidence is shared among many individuals and so patients affected can have the security of knowing that we have established the best evidence to prove their case while the cost of the work does not become a burden for them.  This is an important consideration when deciding on a legal practice to represent you in complex product liability litigation. 

Contact Us 

DePuy Hip Implant Recall 

Metal on Metal Hip Implants UK Alert

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  • Friar Street, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. 
  • Phone: 1-800 60-70-80 & 062 64455
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