gavel and paperworkIn product liability cases, a product’s defect must be the result of negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty, notes Berkowitz and Hanna LLC. In certain instances, a claim may be made for all three – as in a recent Galveston County case, where a Dallas medical device company (Medtronic PS Medical Inc.)  is being sued for medical negligence because of one of its malfunctioning medication pumps.

A Galveston county patient, Ronnie Morgan, had a Medtronic intrathecal pump implanted for the purpose of distributing morphine into his body. On October 16, 2013, Morgan was admitted to the Clear Lake Regional Medical Center because the pump had begun to malfunction, causing him to experience morphine withdrawal symptoms. The pump was surgically removed and replaced.  In his lawsuit, Morgan is suing for negligence since the original device did not have a morphine level indicator, without which he could not have known when the morphine would run out. He further alleges that not only was the original Medtronic product defective in its design and manufacturing, but that the medical device company had also breached its warranty.

Morgan is suing for $200K to $1M in damages – for physical and mental anguish, loss of earnings and court costs.  It remains to be seen whether Medtronic will settle this case or leave a jury  to determine the outcome.

Note: We did not represent any of the parties in this case.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons