Seeking relief from medical device makers

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 7, 2009 - 5:52 PM

Recent court rulings have made it difficult for patients injured by a medical device to sue the product's maker. But Congress has taken notice and could intervene.

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jagebeFeb. 8, 0912:29 AM

That's right. Keeping suing the medical companies while at the same time complaining that health care costs too much. How long do you think most companies would stay in business if they were sued for millions of dollars each time one of their products was less then perfect?

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gkrevquestFeb. 8, 09 8:15 AM

If you're a large corporation of any kind, make sure there are as few rules and regulations as possible to be sure you don't harm your workers and your customers leaving them with no alternative but to sue when they are harmed. Then scream "torte reform" to make sure that they can't even sue you or if they do sue you the damage is no more than having a fingernail clipped. Workers suffer and die, customers suffer and die. Corporations, under the demands of Wall Street, don't give a da__n, because all they are allowed to care about is profit. Workers and customers don't matter. Only CEOs and investors.

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mnreader40Feb. 8, 09 9:17 AM

I wonder how many ICD patients were saved by their man-made, imperfect devices in this same timeframe. I suppose that story would be boring, though.

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genacorinnaFeb. 8, 0910:49 AM

These patient examples are heartbreaking to read. I don't think anyone, including participants in the medical industry, doesn't anguish with their pain. I would offer several thoughts: 1) Large corporations because they are made up of individuals are not apriori bad. Approaching this problem from that point of view does not allow serious consideration of the issue. 2) There needs to be a resolution of this issue that allows consideration of the aggrieved without ignoring the 98-99 percent who had their life extended or made livable. 3) If the FDA procedures are faulty, fix them and insure that products and companies so regulated comply. 4) Throwing out the regulation process and replacing it with the anarchy of the individual states regulation or juries each designing what should have happened will assure that there will not be additional medical advances to extend or improve lives of anything like that that has occurred to date.

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jeffjeanFeb. 8, 0912:12 PM

I have worked at a couple of Medical device companies, including Medtronic. The sad part of this story are people imapacted when these devices are faultly and they have no recourse. Theses devices have very large gross margins which are great for paying bonuses and building lavish work environments, but let's forget about the real intent of making the device - the patient's well being. Corporate greed = Consumer loss

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jeanne373Feb. 8, 0912:28 PM

My granddaughter recently died because of a defective Sprint Fidelis lead. The FDA did not properly run "human trials" before approving this particular lead, as there was a rush to get it on the market. We, as consumers/patients, "TRUST" companies who create medical devices for us to purchase, and put into our bodies; the FDA has the responsibility to examine those products to see if they are safe. My granddaughter, age 30, was a wonderful young woman who had a wish for a long healthy life, many plans for the future and it was all taken away from her because of a mistake by a company who wasn't careful enough about their product and a government agency who didn't do their job. roselady1761@embarqmail.com

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clarkaaronFeb. 8, 09 1:24 PM

Jeanne373, you and your family have a right to sue and should be compensated for your loss. Money will never erase the pain but hopefully it will help. Had your granddaughter been this story, with her picture on the front page of the business section, I would be behind it 100% HOWEVER, Liz Fossum should not be the lead or even an iterest on this topic. She suffered for one day from this device. She does not have any permanent issues from the faulty wire. If anything, it may have saved her life with one of those shocks, who knows. Torte reform, yes. Just because your feelings were hurt or one day of your life was dissrupted does not mean you should get millions. She should be thankful there is a device out there to extend her life and realize that these things all have risks. But, the reward, a longer life, outweighs the risk.

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gurnblanchtnFeb. 9, 09 7:42 AM

When a patient has any medical procedure, they must sign a consent knowing that they understand the risks, benefits, alternatives, and risks of avoiding the procedure. Before signing, you have the opportunity to discuss this in detail with your physician. NOTHING in life is 100% safe. There is ALWAYS a slim chance of an adverse outcome even in the best of circumstances. It is not always negligence. Sometimes, but rarely in this country. It is morbid to think about, but every improvement to modern medicine is based upon the failures of previous standards. Those pacemakers in the 70s were okay. Did they fail sometimes-yes. Was it negligence-No. Did the failures help improve the design subsequent models-Yes.

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dturnidgeFeb. 9, 09 7:20 PM

But one month ago, life support was removed from my son. All they were going to do was replace the defibrillator because it was ... malfunctioning. But, it had a fractured lead, and when they hit it with the laser to loosen any tissue from the lead - it blew a three inch slit in his heart. I'll let you come to your own conclusions...

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rpnelsFeb. 10, 09 8:25 AM

Where would Millions of people be every year without these Medical Devices, probably dead. How about being Thankful to be alive and have the ability to see your friends and loved ones everyday. Stop all these law suits against these Medical Device Manufactures, they are saving lives.

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