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Proving Product Defects Can Require Deep Investigation

By Brown Moore

April 29, 2016

Home News & Resources Proving Product Defects Can Require Deep Investigation

When tens of thousands of individuals file government complaints about a medical product, it would seem that successful outcomes in injury lawsuits related to the products would be virtually guaranteed. However, manufacturers of any product are very skilled at defending their decisions, typically subjecting juries to numerous expert witnesses armed with extensive technical documentation.

According to a report by Philadelphia Media Network, this is what happened when, after undergoing several corrective surgeries that did not provide relief for serious medical problems, one woman filed a lawsuit against a manufacturer of vaginal mesh implants. In December 2015, the woman won a major jury award, most likely because her attorneys dug deeply enough to uncover some very damaging information.

Highly-Technical Cases Require Skilled Investigation

Because of the technical details involved with medical science, any legal case that cites defects or concerns related to medical devices is extremely complex. Undoubtedly, in-depth investigations were conducted to develop the evidence needed to make the following allegations before filing the vaginal mesh implant case:

  • Earlier clinical testing showed an excessive failure rate based on thresholds set for the company when making product release decisions.
  • Accompanying product documentation failed to adequately warn of potential issues caused by the product.
  • The defendant company destroyed an extensive number of documents.
  • Documents about prior study results that were in the hands of prosecuting attorneys specifically recommended against selling the product.

The defendant clearly denied all of these allegations, and, after asserting that the product was properly designed and the company makes patient safety a top priority, they opined that the product was not the cause for the victim’s continued medical issues. However, the plaintiff’s attorneys’ research uncovered a product engineer who told a different story. He testified that the company was aware of the difficulty of surgically removing the mesh, but the company failed to look into methods for mesh removal in the event of problems.

One Testimony Can Make or Break a Case

The point here is that the testimony of a single witness can make a major difference in this type of legal case. The jury heard a great deal of contradictory evidence disagreeing with the failure rates from earlier testing — and how many failures a product can have before a company decides not to release it. However, it appears that the jury was compelled to favor the victim when her attorneys uncovered a company employee who could paint a very different picture about company operations.

Particularly considering that this case was the first of countless similar lawsuits, the defendants plan to appeal the decision. The final outcome can potentially change. Still, the case illustrates the importance of digging deeply into technical and historical information, as well as unmasking witnesses with insider information.

Each Charlotte injury lawyer at our firm is dedicated to using all investigative resources that know how to uncover details that can help make a difference in product liability cases or any type of case that can protect the rights of injury victims. Call us at 800-948-0577 or use our convenient online contact form for effective representation.