Duodenoscope Class Action Lawsuit – Defect Attorney Information
Our firm is currently investigating serious infections caused from the use of the Duodenoscope during various procedures. Duodenoscope’s are used in various pre-surgical procedures. While the device has certain medical uses, its design makes is very difficult to properly clean after use. As a result subsequent receipeints were exposed to potential infections. Such infections include the recent CRE outbreak at UCLA Ronald Reagen Hospital. If you were injured to exposed to this serious infection we would like to hear from you.
Manufacturers Liability or Product Liability
A manufacturer will generally be liable of putting into the stream of commerce or producing a product, which defective. It is not relevant whether they know if the design is defective. Instead what is important to consider is whether the product is in fact defective. A product can be defective for the following reasons, design defect, manufacturing defect or failure to warn.
Design defects apply to the entire design element of the product. A design defect is when the product is inherently defective due to its design. For example if the product is designed in such a way which can make it difficult to clean, it is considered a design defect. In comparison to this particular product it appears that it had various elements in its design, which make cleaning or sanitizing the device difficult.
In contrast manufacturing defects apply to a more singular issue, generally when something goes wrong in the manufacturing process. For example if their was a deviation in the manufacturing process it could result in a manufacturing defect.
- Failure to warn defects occur when the manufacturing fails to warn of potential dangers associated with the use of this product. Again, this would likely not apply to this particular issue since the manufacturer may not have known of the problem.
- UCLA Hospital Failure to Notify
- Failure to Properly Clean the Device
One of the elements, which make this product defect and can potentially hold UCLA Hospital responsible is the method in which these devices were cleaned. As discussed above the design defect makes the product difficult to clean, which can further expose others to dangerous and deadly infections.
However, it is also important to understand what protocols were in place to facilitate the sanitizing of these products? It is not clear at this time what types of procedures UCLA had in place for the sanitizing of these products, but it is likely that they were not sufficient. Therefore, it is likely that UCLA will have some degree of liability for the harm inflicted upon their patients.
3rd Party Liability for Injuries
3rd party liability refers to anyone other then UCLA and the manufacturer of the product, Olympus Corp, which is a subsidiary of a Japanese based company. This refers to liability on a medical device cleaning company, which UCLA may have employed to handle these types of issues. If it is discovered that an independent company was employed for the purpose of cleaning duodenoscopes, then it likely that they will hold some degree of liability for any type of injuries sustained by the victims of the CRE Superbug outbreak.
However, at this time it is not determined whether that this case and our investigation is still pending on this matter.
Potential Case Value
Medical malpractice cases are evaluated differently in terms of value. Here are how these types of cases are evaluated. First, medical malpractice cases have caps on pain and suffering, which are set at $250,000.00. It is important to remember that these caps DO NOT apply to future medical care, loss of earnings and other types of economic losses. These caps are restricted to pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. Second, medical malpractice cases have caps on attorney fees, which are referred to MICRA caps.
Cases are evaluated based on the degree of losses sustained by the victim. In other words are serious of an injury as the CRE virus caused? In some cases we have seen significant hosptilazation, while in other cases the plaintiffs have died as a result of the exposure. To understand case value a lot of different factors are considered.
It is also important to consider that a defective product claim is not subject to medical malpractice limitations.