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What You Should Know About Deaths Caused by Faulty Pacemakers

Posted on in Product Liability

Winnebago County personal injury attorneysA pacemaker is a device that regulates a person’s heartbeat through a series of electrodes that transmit electrical current to the heart. The device is usually placed under the collarbone by means of a relatively simple surgical procedure. Pacemakers are marvels of modern technology that can enable a person with an irregular heartbeat to live much longer than they would have without the device. Unfortunately, faulty pacemakers can lead to a patient’s severe injury or death. When a defective pacemaker results in the death of someone who would have otherwise lived, a wrongful death claim may help the deceased’s loved ones collect compensation.

Liability for a Defective Pacemaker

In early 2019, a medical device company called Medtronic had to recall 13,440 dual-chamber pacemakers due to a software error that could potentially cause the devices to lose pacing function. Understandably, the recall led to many questions about potential liability for injuries or deaths caused by problems with pacemakers.

There are several parties who may be legally responsible for a person’s death when a pacemaker malfunctions. If there were issues with the way the pacemaker was implanted into the patient, the fault may lie with the surgeon or another medical professional. Typically, a medical malpractice claim hinges on the concept of negligence. A doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional is considered negligent when the following conditions are present:

  • The professional owed the patient a duty of care, meaning he or she had an obligation to provide competent medical care.
  • The professional breached this duty of care by providing substandard medical care that a reasonable professional with similar education and experience would not have provided in the same circumstances.
  • The breach of duty caused the injury or death of the patient.
  • Damages resulted from the injury or death including medical bills, the loss of consortium, and more.

More often, however, pacemaker lawsuits result from a defective product. Most pacemaker injury and wrongful death claims fall under product liability law instead of medical malpractice. If the company that made or distributed the pacemaker was negligent and this negligence led to your loved one’s death, you may have a valid product liability claim. Although no amount of money could ever make up for a loved one’s avoidable death, getting reimbursement for the damages caused by the deceased’s passing can help a grieving family manage the expenses incurred by the death.

Contact a Rockford Defective Medical Products Lawyer

When a loved one passes away, the surviving family members are often left with expensive hospital bills, funeral and burial expenses, and other damages caused by the loss of the individual. To learn more about unsafe medical products how a product liability claim can help you recover compensation, contact Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS. Call our office today at 815-215-7561 for a free consultation with an experienced, compassionate Winnebago County wrongful death attorney.

 

Sources:

https://www.medtechdive.com/news/medtronic-recalls-pacemakers-due-to-software-error/548668/

https://courts.illinois.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/IL_IPI_Civil.pdf

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