Written by attorney R. Michael Bomberger

Product Liability: Medtronic Implantable Drug Infusion Pumps

Medtronic has a record of releasing and recalling defective medical devices. Most recently, the billion-dollar company recalled their SynchroMed II and SynchroMed EL drug infusion pumps that had been sold around the world. The two recalls that were issued had to do defects in the labeling and battery that could cause overdosing and underdosing in patients who relied on the devices for regular doses of medication. Hundreds of patients had already suffered adverse effects before the pumps were recalled, and thousands more have received the defective implants.

Causes for the 2011 Recalls

Although the SynchroMed devices had previously been recalled multiple times, the January 14, 2011 recall was issued after hundreds of confirmed adverse event reports had been filed in regards to pocket filling. Labeling problems in the SynchroMed II, SynchroMed EL, and the refill kits had caused numerous cases of pocket fills, where the clinician inadvertently injects the refill into the pump pocket or the subcutaneous tissue of the patient, causing underdosing or overdosing. The second recall only affected the SynchroMed II, and was announced a couple months later, after discovering a film formation in the pump battery that reduced performance and even caused the complete cessation of therapy.

Concerns for Patients Treating Spasticity

The dangers associated with the recall are particularly a concern for patients undergoing therapy for spasticity, because both overdosing and underdosing of baclofen has serious health ramifications. Overdosing can cause:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness/drowsiness

But underdosing or the sudden interruption of therapy is even more dangerous, as patients can develop a condition called baclofen withdrawal syndrome that can potentially progress into a life threatening complication.

Medtronic Product Liability

As the manufacturer and marketer of these defective drug pumps, Medtronic can be held financially responsible for the medical bills and other related expenses and losses. However, patients are encouraged to seek professional legal representation before attempting to seek reparations for the damages suffered as a result of the recalled drug pumps. Medtronic may attempt to settle for a fraction of your rightful compensation or even challenge their liability altogether. With the help of an experienced defective medical device lawyer, you can effectively seek justice against a national company whose defective resulted in your injuries.

Choosing the Right Lawyer

Finding a ** product liability lawyer, that is right for you can be a challenge. But make sure whoever you decide to entrust your case with has extensive trial experience against large corporations like Medtronic. This will ensure you have the option to take your case to court if a fair settlement is not forthcoming. Because time is a serious limitation on product liability cases, make sure your rights are not compromised by contacting a ** professional Medtronic recall lawyer today.

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