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Zarwin Attorneys Favorably Defend Medical Device Manufacturer Against Product Liability & Negligence Claims

August 28, 2014

Shareholder Theodore M. Schaer along with Associate Noah S. Shapiro recently defended a major manufacturer of medical devices in federal court against product liability and negligence claims that one of its products, a piece of radiographic equipment utilized in cardiac surgical procedures, over-radiated the plaintiff resulting in severe radiation burns and increased risk of cancer. Prior to bringing suit against the manufacturer the plaintiff had resolved his claims against the physicians and hospital that performed the relevant procedure for in excess of a million dollars. Suit against the manufacturer was brought in state court but immediately removed to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. A joinder complaint was then immediately filed against the settling physician and hospital defendants to ensure their presence on the verdict sheet for apportionment of liability. Rule 12(b) motion practice was utilized to eliminate all strict liability claims as unavailable under Pennsylvania law for claims involving medical products. Objections and motion practice were also utilized to procure protective orders limiting the scope of discovery and dissemination of documentation sensitive to the manufacturer’s business operations. As a result the plaintiff was forced to narrow his theory of liability to allegations of negligence in the training of physician operators of the product in question. Vigorous defense of depositions through extensive preparation of deponents and objections on the record resulted in the case being postured for a potential summary judgment prior to the start of expert discovery. A confidential settlement was reached which was less than 2% of the initial demand.

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