Surgical Stapler Lawsuit Signed Cases
Surgical staplers were marketed to address the limitations of traditional sutures. While most operate safely, given how many there are (about $2 billion worth of surgical staplers were sold in the US in 2016) even if a relative few malfunction, it could cause substantial numbers of injuries and deaths.
IF YOUR FIRM IS INTERESTED IN SURGICAL STAPLER MASS TORT LITIGATION, FORLAWFIRMSONLY MARKETING CAN HELP YOU FIND THE CLIENTS THAT MEET YOUR CRITERIA.
The FDA stated it will convene an advisory meeting on the safety of the staplers and they may be reclassified to put them under tighter government control. The FDA also said it plans to issue proposed recommendations to manufacturers.
Thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths linked to defective surgical staplers
The agency stated from January 1, 2011 to March 31, 2018, it received more than 41,000 individual medical device reports for surgical staplers and staples for internal use, including 366 deaths, more than 9,000 serious injuries, and more than 32,000 malfunctions.
The most frequent problems in the reports were:
- An opening of the staple line or malformation of staples
- Difficulty in firing
- Failure of the stapler to fire the staple
- Misapplied staples (the user applied staples to the wrong tissue or applied staples of the wrong size)
Stapler and/or staple malfunctions or misuse can cause longer surgeries or unplanned, additional surgeries, which may lead to other complications, such as:
- Tearing of internal tissues and organs
- Increased risk of cancer recurrence and death
KHN reports that surgical staplers are designed to cut and seal tissues or vessels quickly. But if it fails to seal a major blood vessel, medical staff can quickly shift from finishing the surgery to trying to rescue a patient from bleeding to death.
A 2004 article in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons stated that in the first 28 months of filing information to an FDA database unavailable to the public about 20 years ago, stapler makers filed more than 5,100 reports of malfunctions or injuries.
Legal actions paint pictures of every day surgeries turning fatal or critically injuring patients
Lawsuits of victims injured or killed by malfunctioning medical staplers show the damage they can do:
- Eugene Snook of Michigan, in 2012 had surgery to remove part of a lung. His surgeon stated he cut, but couldn’t seal, a major vessel due to a “stapler malfunction,” the surgeon later stated in sworn testimony. Snook, 59 at the time, had no detectable blood pressure for four minutes. Bleeding was so severe the surgeon decided removing the entire lung was the best option. Snook sued the stapler maker, Covidien, which in court records claimed there was no proof the stapler was unsafe when it left its control and the surgeon used it improperly. The case was confidentially settled in 2017.
- In 2013, a surgeon trying to remove a benign liver growth from April Strange of Illinois, 33 at the time, testified that a stapler malfunction caused her to bleed to death. Her survivors were her husband and two daughters, then 6 and 8. The stapler was discarded after surgery and defendant Covidien argued Strange’s next of kin couldn’t prove that the stapler had a specific defect. The company reached a settlement for $250,000, part of a larger settlement in the case.
- Mark Levering of Ohio was initially told he had liver cancer. But later when it was determined he only had an abscess that needed to be surgically removed, it came as a relief. The procedure in February 2019 was supposed to be finished in two hours, but a surgical stapler “misfired,” according to his surgeon, causing so much bleeding that what started as a minimally invasive procedure became an open procedure so the doctor could suture the vein. Levering underwent CPR for 22 minutes, his heart stopped and he lost 3 quarts of blood (about half the blood in his body). Afterwards Levering was put on life support and was in a coma for weeks. When he awoke, he could no longer walk, comb his hair or recognize the letters of the alphabet. Mark and his wife Doris are suing his doctor, the hospital and Covidien, claiming the surgical stapler caused Mark’s bleeding and subsequent brain injuries. The surgeon stated the stapler malfunctioned and denies any wrongdoing. The hospital claims its actions were “prudent, proper” and “lawful.” Covidien denies any responsibility.
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After we’re contacted, the potential client is screened to ensure quality and our Intake Team walks the prospect through the intake process. We can perform a range of services for you, from just signing your retainer and HIPPA releases to sending out a medical investigator to review the case with your client to help strengthen their case.
FORLAWFIRMSONLY LIMITS THE NUMBER OF LAW FIRMS WE WORK WITH SO IT’S CRITICAL FOR YOU TO CONTACT US FOR AVAILABILITY OF SURGICAL STAPLER SIGNED CLIENTS.
We are very responsive and offer small intro orders for mass tort leads without contracts. ForLawFirmsOnly wants you to work with us because of the quality of our Surgical Stapler signed clients, not due to a contractual obligation.