A number of lawsuits have been filed against several pain pump manufacturers and drug makers that allegedly encouraged doctors to insert the devices directly into shoulder joints following arthroscopic surgery, even though the technique had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The pumps were being inserted by the surgeons in the joint space and this was done on recommendations by the pump manufacturers.
An article published last October in the American Journal of Sports Medicine reported a strong link between the use of high-volume pain pumps following arthroscopic shoulder surgery and an otherwise inexplicable loss of shoulder cartilage. At press time, at least thirteen individual lawsuits had been filed in federal courts in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Colorado and Oregon. One class action is pending in a Utah federal court. The first case scheduled for trial is in a state court in Portland, Oregon, and it should start on September 22nd. Our firm is assisting in the trial of this case.
Many of the injured persons are athletes in their teens to mid-30s who underwent shoulder replacements as a result of cartilage loss. A request was filed by Plaintiffs’ lawyers with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate all of the federal claims in U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon. Pain pump manufacturers named in the product liability suits are: Stryker Corp., of Kalamazoo, Michigan, I-Flow Corp. of Lake Forest, California, and DJO, of San Diego. These Defendants failed to adequately test the devices; failed to warn physicians about injuries that could occur from inserting the pain pump catheter into the shoulder joint, and marketed their pain pumps to the medical community for an “off-label” use not approved by the FDA. AstraZeneca, which sold anesthetics used in the pain pumps, has also been named in the suits for failing to adequately test the safety of its drugs in the pumps.
Source: Lawyers Weekly
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