Medical implants, prosthetics, and biotechnology have revolutionized medicine. These tools have restored mobility and function in patients who would have had no options before their invention.

However, the creation and use of medical devices comes with a dark side. Competitive device manufacturers focus on selling their products before extensive trials to ensure their devices are safe for public use.

Have you developed an illness or suffered injuries because of a medical device? Gruel Mills has advocated for patients who have fallen victim to defective medical devices for more than 35 years. Our Grand Rapids defective medical device lawyers understand the gravity of your situation and can help you hold negligent device manufacturers accountable.

Contact us today to tell us about your device, how it led to medical complications, and learn about the next steps to seek compensation for your injuries.

Why Choose Gruel Mills for Your Medical Device Claim

The skilled legal team at Gruel Mills has been advocating for victims of negligence since 1985, including those who have suffered harm from medical devices. The firm has purposefully remained small, so it can provide personalized service while handling high-profile cases. Additionally, Gruel Mills has garnered national recognition for its professional excellence. U.S. News and World Report Best Lawyers named Gruel Mills as Best Law Firm in 2022 and 2019.

Medical device manufacturers have large legal teams and insurance companies that fight to avoid paying claims. You need an experienced Grand Rapids defective medical device lawyer to advocate for you and navigate the complexities of the legal system while you focus on recouping from your injuries and spending time with your family.

Contact Gruel Mills today for your free consultation and discuss the injuries you suffered from a defective medical device. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Grand Rapids in the Comerica Building, right across from Rosa Parks Circle.

We understand that medical complications can prevent you from traveling, or your injury may have hospitalized you. We can meet you where you are, but we also offer virtual meetings for your convenience. The legal team at Gruel Mills is here to help.

Defective Medical Device Compensation

If you’ve suffered medical complications because of a defective medical device, Michigan law permits you to seek compensation for damages from the manufacturer. The types of damages a patient can recover vary among cases. Settlement agreements and jury awards commonly include some specific types of compensation.

If you prevail in your Grand Rapids defective medical device claim, you could receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, including ambulance service, emergency room treatment, corrective surgery, diagnostic tests, medication, and follow-up visits
  • Rehabilitation costs, including visits with physical therapists and occupational therapists
  • Costs for a new device
  • Costs for transitional or long-term nursing care
  • Lost income from missing work
  • Lost earning capacity if a defective medical device makes it impossible for a patient to return to work
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

The factors that affect the money you receive from your defective medical device claim include:

  • The severity of your injuries. Those with the most severe medical complications from a defective medical device typically receive more compensation in a settlement or jury award.
  • Likelihood of full recovery. A patient’s long-term prognosis impacts the value of a claim. If a patient can get a new, functional device or does not suffer any long-term damage, they won’t receive as much money as someone with permanent damage.
  • Amount of work you missed. More time away from work translates to more economic loss, increasing the value of a claim. Similarly, when a defective medical device causes catastrophic injuries that prevent someone from working, the value of a claim increases.
  • Total medical treatment costs. Most defective medical device claims are high-value claims, largely because of massive medical expenses. Patients typically need to undergo one or more corrective surgeries on top of any emergency room treatment and hospitalization from when complications began.

Defective medical device claims are a type of product liability claim. Michigan law caps the amount of non-economic damages a patient can recover in a lawsuit. Patients can only recover $280,000 of non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, for bodily injury. If you suffered an extreme disability because of a defective medical device or if you lost a loved one because of a defective medical device, a $500,000 cap for non-economic damages applies.

The Grand Rapids defective medical device lawyers at Gruel Mills can review your case, gather necessary medical records, advise you on what types of compensation you could receive, and place a value on your claim. We diligently pursue the maximum compensation commensurate with harm from the defective medical device.

Grand Rapids Defective Medical Device FAQs

If you have suffered harm from a defective medical device, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure about what you should do next. Contact Gruel Mills so we can advocate for you and help you seek compensation for your injuries. Until you meet with a member of our team, the answers to the following frequently asked questions offer some introductory information about defective medical devices and related lawsuits.

What Defective Medical Devices Give Rise to a Lawsuit?

Although exceptions exist, most defective medical device lawsuits involve Class III medical devices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines Class III medical devices as those that typically sustain or support life. Many Class III devices are implanted or present a potentially major risk of illness or injury.

Examples include:

  • Pacemakers
  • Breast implants
  • Hernia mesh
  • Artificial knees and hips
  • Defibrillators
  • Heart stents
  • Insulin pumps

When Is a Medical Device Defective?

Generally speaking, all products, including medical devices, can have one of three defects: design defects, manufacturing defects, and information defects.

Design defects occur when engineers conceive the idea of a device that has problems in the design.

Manufacturing defects occur when constructing or using a device. The design is safe, but the execution of the design failed.

Information defects occur when manufacturers or retailers do not provide accurate information about risks and use to medical professionals and patients.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Grand Rapids Defective Medical Device Claims?

In most Michigan personal injury lawsuits, victims must bring a lawsuit within three years from the date of their injuries. However, defective medical device claims present some unique challenges. Patients typically do not suffer harm the day they receive their device.

For example, it can take months for breast implants to leak or a defective pacemaker to fail. The law allows for “delayed discovery,” which pauses the statute of limitations time clock until you discover your defective device. This makes it even more important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible, so you do not miss a deadline.

Your attorney can evaluate your case and ensure you do not miss out on the chance to recover damages for your injuries.

Can I Seek Punitive Damages in a Grand Rapids Defective Medical Device Claim?

No. Michigan law does not allow plaintiffs to seek punitive damages in personal injury lawsuits. It only awards economic and non-economic compensatory damages. In many states, courts award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter them from future negligent acts.

While you cannot seek punitive damages in Michigan if a medical device manufacturer acted with gross negligence, the law provides a different avenue to seek additional compensation.

If you prove that the manufacturer knew it sold a defective product that harmed you, you can sue for gross negligence. When gross negligence is present in product liability cases, the law removes all caps on non-economic compensation, like loss of consortium and reduced quality of life. Our Grand Rapids defective medical device lawyers can review your claim to examine if the manufacturer acted with gross negligence.

Should I Talk to the Medical Device Manufacturer or Their Insurance Company?

No. You should always consult with an attorney first. As soon as a medical device manufacturer learns of a claim against their product, they will investigate the claim. Their insurance company has a team of lawyers who will use every strategy to avoid or reduce financial liability. During their investigation, they will want to speak with you. It’s best to let your lawyer handle all communication to protect the value of your claim.

If you speak with the manufacturer or any party acting on their behalf, you risk saying something to hurt your case. Investigators, lawyers, and insurance representatives will be looking for evidence that your medical complications occurred for some other reason than their medical device.

For example, they might try to say you did not follow your treatment plan. They might also try to devalue your claim and argue that your injuries and medical issues are not as severe as you claim.

Insurance companies make it difficult for people to get fair compensation. Sometimes large companies offer a settlement to avoid bad press from a trial and to avoid a larger payout. Defective medical device cases are notoriously complex. It’s in your best interest to let all communications and settlement negotiations go through your attorney. The team at Gruel Mills often obtains a better settlement or jury award than what a client could get without their help.

Who Can I Hold Liable for a Defective Medical Device?

Manufacturers are often the first party named in a defective medical device lawsuit. However, other parties might be liable or share liability for damages. Any party involved with the device from its design stage to implantation or use can hold some or all liability for damages.

They include:

  • Device engineer(s)
  • Distributors
  • Marketers
  • Retailers
  • Healthcare providers
  • Medical facilities

Can I File a Claim After a Loved One Died Due to a Defective Medical Device?

Yes. Michigan law permits eligible family members to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the medical device manufacturer and other liable parties after the tragic loss of a loved one. You must take action within the two-year statute of limitations period.

If you win your case, you could recover some of the damages listed above. You might also receive compensation for loss of companionship and funeral expenses. The compassionate legal team at Gruel Mills can answer more specific questions about filing a wrongful death lawsuit during a free consultation.

Can I Afford a Grand Rapids Defective Medical Device Lawyer?

Yes. Legal help for those who fall victim to a defective medical device is available to everyone regardless of their economic situation. When you hire Gruel Mills to represent you in your Grand Rapids defective medical device lawyer, you do not have to pay a retainer as you would for a corporate lawyer, tax attorney, or divorce lawyer.

Instead, we accept new clients on a contingent fee basis. If we accept your case and you hire us, we deduct attorney fees and other costs from any money you receive from our efforts.

Gruel Mills Holds Manufacturers Responsible for Defective Medical Devices

Grand Rapids Defective Medical Device Lawyer, Scott R. Melton

Winning your defective medical device claim includes proving the device was defective, making these cases difficult. If you’ve suffered medical complications from a defective device, you need to focus on your health and recovering to the extent that you can.

The skilled legal team at Gruel Mills knows what it takes to fight medical device manufacturers and has proven success. Let us handle the details of your claim and navigate the complexities. We can investigate your case, examine your medical records, and consult with necessary medical experts to build the strongest case possible.

Contact Gruel Mills today online and submit your case information for review or call us at (616) 235-5500 to discuss your case, how your injuries have affected your life, and learn more about how we can help you during this challenging time.

Our Results

Over the years, we have successfully resolved numerous claims for our clients involving failures with defective hip implants, knee implants, and defective vaginal mesh products.

Grand Rapids Office Location

Campau Square Plaza Building
99 Monroe Ave NW #800
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Client Testimonial

“Gruel Mills is made up of wonderful, honest attorneys who truly care about their clients. I have many friends who have worked with William Azkoul and Thomas Behm, and have been extremely pleased with the amount of care and professionalism they exhibited. Would highly recommend!” – Christina D.

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