Medical Pump Manufacturer Pays $900,000 to Settle Virginia Wrongful Death Settlement
When routine surgery goes wrong at a hospital, it may be the fault of doctors or nurses who can face a medical malpractice lawsuit. But, in some cases if equipment has failed, the manufacturer could be to blame.
This was the claim in a recent lawsuit in western Virginia over the death of a well-known Roanoke radio figure in 2011, although a hospital was also sued.
Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported on litigation arising from the death of longtime Roanoke public radio voice J. Seth Williamson. He died at the age of 62 following hernia surgery at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg.
Williamson’s daughters settled a claim with the hospital for an undisclosed sum of money, according to Virginia Lawyers Weekly. His estate claimed the manufacturers of a pain medication infusion pump misled nurses in programing the device, allowing five times the intended concentration of medicine.
Lawyers for the estate filed suit against Abbot Laboratories Inc., the company that sold the pain pump. The case was made more difficult by the fact a medical examiner had ruled the cause of death was “natural causes.”
Williamson suffered from a heart condition, high blood pressure and sleep apnea, meaning the risks of surgery were higher for him. The defense claimed the pump was not to blame for the death.
The case was eventually resolved in mediation for $900,000. The attorney representing the estate was Robert T. Hall of Reston. All cases are different and we cannot guarantee the same result in a case.
Under the law of product liability, someone who is injured or the estate of someone who is killed by faulty equipment, can sue a manufacturer. This case illustrates poor labeling, as opposed to a fault in the way a product works, can give rise to a lawsuit. Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported the manufacturer of the pump launched a review of warnings, after the case.
A number of medical devices have led to lawsuits in recent years including Vena Cava filters which can fracture with deadly results and the Da Vinci surgical robot which has been linked to surgical burns, cut ureters, bowel injuries, excessive bleeding and even death.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a medical device, call our Virginia defective products attorneys at 757.455.0077 for a free and confidential consultation.