In Defective Medical Devices

A product liability lawsuit against the company Smith & Nephew over claims of defective medical wipes has been revived. A trial court ruling from 2015 was partially reversed by a three-judge appellate. The partial reversal reinstates the complaint against the company, but it can only include the use of wipes prior to the recall from August of 2011.

The appellate panel issued the following ruling: “We conclude only the complaint alleges claims arising within two years of the filing date of the complaint.” The panel also said that it will not evaluate whether or not the plaintiff can prove medical causation.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit used the REMOVE Universal Adhesive Remover Wipes and SKIN-PREP Protective Wipes from Smith & Nephew between 2007 and 2011 for sterile skin prep.

A recall was issued in May of 2011 by the company for specific lots of its wipes because they had not been properly sterilized. Another recall was issued in August of 2011 with added lot numbers and told consumers to stop using the wipes immediately. The recall also instructed consumes to destroy the wipes if they had them.

According to the complaint filed against Smith & Nephew, the plaintiff used the wipes prior to the recall issued in May of 2011, which caused him to develop infections. Those infections required hospital stays and treatment.

A settlement could not be reached in the original complaint, which is when the plaintiff requested that it be reinstated back in July of 2015. Smith & Nephew filed an objection to the complaint, stating that it was past the statute of limitations. The plaintiff then claimed that he also used products in the August 2011 recall, which extended the statute of limitations. The trial court disagreed with the plaintiff’s claims and declined to reinstate the claim.

The appeal panel reinstated the claim because the plaintiff could not reasonably believe that all of the company’s products were defective, just the ones in the initial recall of May 2011.

An experienced products liability lawyer can answer all of your questions regarding defective medical devices in Nashville, Tennessee.

Source: The Global Dispatch, “Smith & Nephew Product Liability Suit Revived in New Jersey,” March 01, 2017

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