Millions of patients each year require hip, knee, or ankle replacements. Whether it is a hip, knee, or ankle replacement, having joint surgery may make some patients nervous. Unfortunately, patients with Exactech medical devices have every right to feel nervous.
At Michigan Injury Lawyers, we stand up for clients who suffered injuries due to Exactech medical products. If you thought you were improving your health and quality of life, only to learn you suffered more pain and complications, we are on your side.
Reach out to our Exactech hip, knee, and ankle recall attorney today for more information about a possible case.
Table of Contents
- Exactech’s Recent Recall
- How Crucial Are Joint Replacement Devices?
- Risks Associated With Joint Revision Surgery
- What Are Some Legal Options That Injured Patients Have Against Exactech?
- How To Prove A Manufacturer’s Liability
- Why You Need a Lawyer
- Contact an Exactech Hip, Knee, and Ankle Recall Lawyer Today
Exactech’s Recent Recall
Exactech is one of the global medical device companies that recently made headlines for its recent recall of over 140,000 knee and ankle devices. The company alleges that the recent recall happened after discovering a defect within the packaging. The knee and ankle devices must be packaged within sealed vacuum bags to prevent the devices from being exposed to oxygen. However, most of the knee and ankle devices dating back to 2004 were outside of the additional packaging layer.
Exactech states that the defective layer can allow oxygen to diffuse into the plastic insert before the device goes into a patient. If the plastic insert of the medical device has oxygen exposure, it can cause the medical device to wear down prematurely. When the medical device inside the patient wears down earlier than expected, it can cause the patient to experience signs of severe physical pain around the affected joint.
Patients with Exactech hip, knee, or ankle replacement devices who are beginning to experience serious pain have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. The joint replacement devices that should relieve their pain instead cause additional and avoidable suffering. An Exactech hip, knee, and ankle recall lawyer can begin to help you and your family fight for the compensation that you deserve.
Different Parts of Knee and Ankle Replacements
The defect within the Exactech joint replacement devices revolves around the plastic insert.
Many knee and ankle replacement devices consist of three to four parts, including:
- The tibial component. This is a piece of metal that slides into the kneecap.
- The femoral component. This piece of metal helps attach the replacement device to the thigh bone.
- The patellar component. This is a piece of plastic that also fits into the kneecap.
- The polyethylene insert. This is a piece of plastic that connects the femoral component and the tibial component.
The polyethylene insert is the part of the medical device impacted by the defect. It is no surprise that the knee replacement device can wear down easily if the main component holding the device together has worn down.
How Crucial Are Joint Replacement Devices?
Many patients rely on the effectiveness of joint replacement devices. Hip, knee, and ankle replacement devices should alleviate the pain from other joint-related conditions. When patients decide to have joint replacement surgery, they do so with the hope that their joint pain will end and they will have restored mobility.
When joint replacement devices are defective, patients are at risk of experiencing additional pain around the joint. If physicians recommend joint revision surgery, patients may even be at risk of suffering from future pain.
Joint revision surgery is a completely different medical procedure from joint replacement surgery. Unlike joint replacement surgery, joint revision surgery is a corrective procedure for patients who need to remove a joint replacement device. Patients experiencing severe pain from their defective devices may need this surgery.
Even though joint revision surgery can reduce the patient’s pain, it is a longer medical procedure that requires additional planning from the medical professional.
Risks Associated With Joint Revision Surgery
Although joint revision surgery is an option to relieve patients of pain, that does not mean that the option comes with little to no risks. Even though a certain amount of risk comes with any surgical procedure, the risks with joint revision surgery can make the corrective process even more difficult.
Some of the risks that come with joint revision surgery include:
- Poor wound healing
- Heart attack or heart complications during surgery
- Issues with anesthesia
- Infection around the wound
- Damage to nerves during surgery
- Excessive bleeding
Unlike joint replacement surgery, which can happen two to three hours, joint revision surgery may take a couple of stages to complete based on the damage done by the defective joint replacement.
Medical Device Recall Statistics
According to The Center for Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Care and Research, total knee replacement surgeries might increase to 3.5 million procedures each year.
Unfortunately, as we have seen, not all of them work. Medical device recalls are pretty common within the health industry. In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued more recalls for defective medical devices compared to other manufactured products on the marketplace.
The FDA states that factors like inadequate information, faulty designs, and rushed testing of products contribute to the growing number of medical device recalls. The organization also declared that 17 percent of all medical device liability lawsuits revolve around defective designs. The FDA issues at least six medical device recalls every month on average.
What Are Some Legal Options That Injured Patients Have Against Exactech?
Patients with faulty Exactech medical devices inside of them have the option to file a lawsuit against Exactech. Exactech can be liable for you or your loved one’s injury through a legal concept known as product liability.
What Is Product Liability?
Product liability is the liability that manufacturing chains have when designing, manufacturing, or selling products in the marketplace. Through product liability, manufacturers can be liable for any injuries that their products cause consumers.
Whether manufacturers are aware of the dangers associated with their products, they have a legal duty to ensure that their products are safe for use and do not present a hazard to consumers. Manufacturers who discover that their products are dangerous for the public to use must issue a recall and have the products removed from the marketplace immediately.
Different Types of Defects
Products are classified as defective if they contain the following defects:
- Design defects. Products with this type of defect contain a faulty design or have been improperly tested. A design defect affects an entire product line compared to a few products.
- Manufacturing defects. These defects can develop in products at some point during the manufacturing process. Unlike a design defect, a manufacturing defect can affect a few products.
- Marketing defects. These defects happen when manufacturers fail to supply warning labels and safety instructions on their products. Manufacturers are putting their consumers’ livelihoods at risk when they do not include safety instructions or warning labels on their products.
How To Prove A Manufacturer’s Liability
In the case of Exactech’s recall, an Exactech hip, knee, and ankle recall lawyer must prove that the company is liable for the patients’ injuries. There are a couple of ways that attorneys can prove that a manufacturer was liable for a consumer’s injuries.
One of the legal elements that can establish liability for manufacturers is negligence. Negligence is a standard that holds parties accountable for failing to exert a duty of care towards another party. Although it is a simple concept, it is often difficult for personal injury lawyers to prove.
To prove negligence under the law, you must show:
- Legal duty. This element must prove that the other party was required to exercise a duty of care to the injured party.
- Breach. This element must be proven by showing how the other party’s negligent actions violated the injured party’s duty of care.
- Causation. This element must be proven by explaining how the other party’s actions directly caused harm to the injured party.
- Damages. This element must be proven by explaining the injured party’s damages from the accident.
Another legal standard that holds manufacturers accountable for the injuries their products produce is strict liability. Strict liability is a legal concept that makes certain parties the responsible party for damages from an accident. This liability applies regardless of the state of mind that the responsible party was in at the incident.
Manufacturers can be strictly liable for their consumers’ injuries if they were injured from their defective products. Even if the manufacturer practiced all necessary precautions and tested the product, the injured consumer can still recover compensation from the manufacturer.
Exactech’s Response to the Recall
To assist with the claims reimbursement process, Exactech has collaborated with a settlement adjusting organization known as Broadspire. Patients with defective Exactech devices who their physician has contacted about following up are advised to reach out to the Exactech- Broadspire Helpline to begin the claim process.
Why You Should Contact an Exactech Hip, Knee, and Ankle Recall Lawyer Before Filing a Claim With Exactech-Broadspire
While it is a good sign that Exactech has collaborated with Broadspire to begin the claim reimbursement process, you should still consult with an experienced Exactech hip, knee, and ankle recall lawyer.
One of the main reasons is that Broadspire is working in the best interest of Exactech. Whatever decision the company recommends will be a decision that serves Exactech’s agenda.
Another reason is that whatever compensation Exactech and Broadspire agree to reward you may not cover the actual amount of damages you suffered. Exactech and Broadspire may offer compensation that only covers the cost of treatment for corrective surgery and any out-of-pocket expenses related to the joint replacement surgery. Both companies may agree to offer you a settlement that is less than the actual worth of your product liability claim.
How Do You Determine The Worth of an Exactech Joint Replacement Claim?
An Exactech hip, knee, and ankle recall lawyer can help evaluate the factors of your claim and assess how much your claim is worth. Every client’s claim will not be valued at the same level.
Various factors can determine the worth of your claim:
- The severity of your injuries
- The complications that you suffered as a result of the defective device
- The probability of holding Exactech liable for your injuries
In recent settlements regarding Exactech joint replacement recalls, clients received compensation ranging from $150,000 to $300,000.
How an Exactech Hip, Knee, and Ankle Recall Lawyer Can Help You
It can be intimidating when you decide to file a lawsuit against a global organization like Exactech. Although the company has taken accountability for its massive defective devices, it will still try to cut corners and avoid paying out as much compensation as possible. Reaching out to an experienced attorney can give you a greater chance of receiving the compensation you are owed.
An Exactech product liability attorney has specific knowledge of Exactech's policies and all updated information regarding the recall. An experienced lawyer can explain the many legal options available to you. A lawyer can evaluate your case and determine the compensation that you can seek.
Different Forms of Compensation for Exactech Joint Replacement Device Recall
An experienced lawyer may suggest different forms of compensation that you can seek for your injuries instead of just accepting the settlement offer that Exactech and Broadspire will offer.
Some of the additional compensation you can pursue through your lawsuit includes:
- Current and future medical expenses. You may have to pursue additional medical treatments to soothe the pain you are experiencing from your defective device. Medications, follow-up appointments, and corrective surgery are just some of the medical expenses you will have to pay.
- Lost earnings. The pain from your joint replacement device may affect other areas of your life. You may have to take time off from work to deal with the aftermath of the defective device recall.
- Pain and suffering. Your defective joint replacement device can cause your joint to worsen and lead to more pain and suffering. Even after having had corrective surgery, you may still experience some pain afterward.
Contact an Exactech Hip, Knee, and Ankle Recall Lawyer Today
If you or your loved one had a hip, knee, or ankle replacement with a recalled Exactech product, you should exercise all of your legal rights. Today, speak with an experienced Exactech hip, knee, and ankle recall lawyer at Michigan injury Lawyers to see what your lawsuit is worth. Call us today at (888) 454-0801 or write to us using our contact page.
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