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Possible defective medical device snapped in patient's leg

Medical implants must be durable and sturdy enough to stand up to a virtual lifetime of use by patients in California and all across the country. A patient from another state claims that her implant was faulty and ultimately caused her more harm than good. She is now seeking compensation against both Zimmer Inc., the manufacturer of the alleged defective medical device, as well as the hospital that implanted it. 

In June 2013, the victim broke her femur so badly that she required extensive surgery to repair the damage. Various cables and screws were implanted during the surgery, including a titanium plate. Months later in Nov. 2013, the victim reported that she felt something snap in her leg, followed by a series of crunching sounds. After being taken to the hospital, it was discovered that the titanium plate had actually broken.

She then required an additional surgery for the extensive damage that the snapped implant had caused. Her suit also claims that she had to spend time in a nursing home and now requires physical therapy, for both of which she is seeking damages. Exactly how much she is seeking has not been disclosed.

The suit also alleges that Zimmer was aware that the titanium implant was defective but knowingly sold it anyway. When California patients are injured by a defective medical device, whether a company intended for its product to be defective does not necessarily matter, as a defect can come from a design flaw, a manufacturing error, or both. Compensation for such injuries are usually compensated through a successfully navigated product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the product.

Source:, "Medical supply company, hospital sued by patient over alleged failure of implant", Kyle Barnett, Jan. 21, 2015

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