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When Can You Sue for a Pacemaker Defect and Injury?

By December 23, 2016April 18th, 2019Defective Medical Device litigation
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Medical Malpractice Attorneys Fighting for Victims of Defective Pacemakers in St. Louis and all of Missouri

For a patient to receive a pacemaker, he or she must have a form of heart surgery. These are serious surgeries that carry significant risks. Usually, a cardiac surgeon places the device in the patient’s shoulder, near the heart, or in the stomach. The wires are then directly attached to the heart to help maintain a steady, healthy heart rate.

Pacemakers work by measuring the patient’s current heart rate, then using a series of electric shocks to keep the heart beating at the proper rhythm.

While they are generally safe, patients often wonder what would happen if their pacemaker were to fail. When this occurs, a patient’s heart rate could drop dramatically, leading to heart failure, loss of consciousness, or death. Sometimes, patients are unaware that complications have started with their pacemaker, and typically a patient does not know about the defect or issue until serious side-effects occur.

Who Do You Hold Responsible if a Pacemaker Does Fail?

When a pacemaker fails, a patient may wonder who can be held accountable for the injuries or losses. Determining who to hold responsible depends on why the pacemaker failed in the first place.

Typically, there are three situations wherein a pacemaker fails:

  1. The pacemaker had a defect in the design. In this instance, the manufacturer would be held liable for the injuries.
  2. The pacemaker was installed incorrectly. Therefore, the surgeon and possibly the hospital would be liable for the injuries.
  3. The pacemaker failed because of a third party. In this case, the third party is responsible for the injuries.

With a manufacturing defect, design defect, or implementation error, the issue may not be evident for weeks, months, or even years after it is installed. If a component of the pacemaker fails later, such as the leads, it could be years before it is evident. Often, these components are manufactured by a third party; therefore, that third party is responsible for the injuries. The manufacturer would be responsible, as well, since they acquired the defective components and used them in their device.

When Can You File a Medical Device Defect Lawsuit?

Because the issue may not be clear at the time, the statute of limitations time limit in most States begins from the time you knew or should have know that there was a defect in the product. Therefore, even if it was installed improperly four years ago, you may still have time starting when the defect was discovered, not when it originally occurred.

Were You Injured by a Defective Pacemaker? Contact an Attorney Now

If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries because of a defective pacemaker, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe Attorneys at Law now. We can assist you in determining which negligent party is responsible, and also in holding them accountable for their actions.

Schedule a free consultation with an attorney by calling 877-678-3400 or requesting more information through our online contact form.