Cochlear Implant Lawsuits in Maryland
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) describes a cochlear implant as “a small, complex electronic device.” The device includes both an external component and an internal component surgically placed underneath the skin to allow someone who is hearing impaired to distinguish sounds.
When the implant is used as a treatment method, a microphone picks up sound which a speech processor arranges and a transmitter converts into electric impulses. A group of electrodes called an electrode array collects the electrical impulses and sends them to stimulate various regions of the auditory nerve.
Cochlear implants can make it much easier for deaf people to understand speech, although the implant will not restore natural hearing. Unfortunately, some cochlear implants have turned out to be very dangerous and have had to be recalled. Cochlear implant lawsuits in Maryland and elsewhere can result when this product malfunctions and causes unexpected complications. An experienced attorney can help those who are affected by problems with their cochlear implants to pursue a claim for damages.
Problems with Cochlear Implants
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has facilitated the issuance of Public Health Notifications and Advices for Patients in connection with cochlear implants. The FDA indicated patients were warned that cochlear implants could increase the risk of life-threatening bacterial meningitis.
Other past problems with cochlear implants reported by the FDA included the potential of the implants to malfunction due to moisture, as well as the potential that the implants would shock patients, as reported by Today. Some patients were forced to undergo removal of cochlear implants because of the pain of the shocks being delivered.
Pursuing a Cochlear Implant Lawsuit in Maryland
Cochlear implants, like other medical devices, are expected to be rigorously tested prior to being released to the public. When a medical device malfunctions, product liability laws apply. This means the manufacturers of the implants may be held responsible if a product defect caused harm when the medical device was used as intended.
In product liability cases, strict liability rules can apply. Under strict liability rules, plaintiffs do not have to prove negligence occurred on the part of the manufacturer before being entitled to compensation for harm which occurred as a direct result of a product defect.
In certain situations, patients may wish to sue not the manufacturer of cochlear implants but the doctor who either recommended the implants or who performed the procedure to implant the devices. Medical care providers can be sued only if their actions fell short of the professional standard of care to which healthcare professionals are subject.
If a reasonable physician with a similar background would not have made the error that was made in connection with the cochlear implants, then a victim may have a malpractice case.
Getting Legal Help with a Cochlear Implant Lawsuit
An attorney can provide advice on whether you could have a case if you wish to pursue a cochlear implant lawsuit in Maryland, and can assist you with identifying defendants and putting together a strong claim. Call today to find out more about your options for making a damage claim based on problems with cochlear implants.