Some of the most common injuries suffered as a result of a car accident are back and neck injuries. Damage to the spinal cord can cause permanent issues ranging from chronic back pain to paralysis and even death in some cases. Fixing this type of damage becomes priority one after an accident, but it isn't easy to afford.
These medical fixes can cost a patient tens of thousands of dollars or more, which is why it is no surprise that manufacturers of medical devices or products used in these surgeries make a lot of profit. In fact, Medtronic -- one of the largest medical device manufacturers in the country -- had sales valued at over $800 million dollars in the 2011 fiscal year. Much of the profit came from the sale of Medtronic Infuse bone graft, a product placed in a patient's spine to help facilitate bone growth. It appears as though the patients are paying for this product in more ways than one.
A lawsuit was recently filed after over half a million patients who had this type of product placed in their bodies started experiencing some extreme symptoms -- ones that fell well out of the bounds of the average "symptoms" list. These included uncontrollable or too much bone growth, sterility in males and even cancer.
In fact, it was alleged that not only were these symptoms prevalent in the patients included in the class action, but that the product was being used for purposes not approved by the Federal Drug Administration. The complaint states that not only was the product being used for "off-label" uses, but that Medtronic also published the product in a false light, failing to present the complete research picture in order to obtain FDA approval.
The general claims made in the lawsuit are enough for readers to understand the basis of the class action, but it is the personal stories that really put the issue into perspective. Our next post will share in more detail what some of these "symptoms" really mean for individual patients and why biased and corrupt research is so dangerous.
Source: Lawyers and Settlements, "Medtronic Infuse Causes Litany of Complications," Jane Mundy, Feb. 11, 2013
The duty of care is something that should never be taken lightly whether it is in a medical device manufacturing plant or while driving on the highway. Our Cincinnati personal injury law firm is ready to help the victims of another's negligence obtain the compensation they deserve.