Who is Eligible to File a Surgical Staples Lawsuit?

If you have had a complex surgery, there is a chance that you have had surgical staples inserted into your body. Staples are used as an alternative to stitches when stitches would not be a sufficient solution for healing a wound following surgery. 

Surgical staples have been used for decades and were thought to be relatively safe. However, in recent years, there has been evidence that surgical staples can cause adverse reactions that can lead to life-threatening health complications.

Due to how product defects were reported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), fewer instances were being initially reported of surgical staples causing serious health problems than were taking place. This led to surgical staples continuing to be used, but the side effects and possible complications were not disclosed to patients before surgery. 

Unfortunately, this meant that complications continued to occur, leading to many individuals suffering serious health issues and looking for solutions to recover compensation. If you or a loved one has suffered health problems following surgery with one of the FDA’s recalled surgical staples, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and recover financial compensation. 

Why Were Surgical Staples Recalled?

Surgical staples were recalled due to manufacturing defects that led to life-threatening health complications in patients. These defects went relatively unnoticed for an extended period due to a reporting flaw between companies and the FDA. With the FDA unaware of complications, surgical staples with defects continued to be manufactured and used in surgeries through 2018. 

In 2019, the FDA became aware of what was happening and immediately notified hospitals of the dangers of surgical staples. This led to a massive recall and made the public aware that injuries suffered following surgery could result from the staples implemented. 

With this new information, lawsuits were brought forward by hundreds of plaintiffs. The lawsuits listed severe injuries, including sepsis, damaged internal organs, fissures, and excessive bleeding. Even though these complications occurred, they can be unfortunate side effects from many different surgeries. Since these side effects are not entirely uncommon, those who suffered them likely did not know there was the potential for a lawsuit. 

Due to the FDA’s statement regarding surgical staples, there is now more evidence that surgical staples led to an increased risk for life-altering damages. Lawsuits continue to be brought forward as more people become aware that their injuries and any surgeries that need to be conducted for a second time could be the result of the staples they received.

What Surgical Staples Were Recalled?

After the FDA notified hospitals and doctors of the dangers of certain surgical staples, manufacturers were left with no choice but to recall them. The recalled staples include:

  • Medtronic
  • Ethicon ECHELON 60mm Endoscopic Linear Cutter Reloads Black
  • Ethicon Endopath Echelon Flex Powered Vascular Staplers with Advanced Placement Tip and White Reloads
  • Ethicon Endo-Surgery Curved Intraluminal Stapler with Adjustable Height Staples
  • Ethicon Endo-Surgery Endoscopic Curved Intraluminal Stapler with Adjustable Height Staples

The Medtronic recall of 2019 was the largest stapler recall, with 3,113,280 staplers being removed from hospitals due to manufacturing defects that led to poor performance. In 2019, Ethicon recalled both of their Endo-Surgery products, resulting in 92,946 staplers being recalled. In 2018, just before the FDA issued its warnings, Medtronic recalled 171,271 staplers.

You will likely not know what stapler was used during your surgery, but a lawyer can help review your medical records and surgical history to determine if the staples used are the ones that could make you eligible for a lawsuit. 

How to File a Surgical Staple Lawsuit

Filing a surgical staple lawsuit can be overwhelming, so you might decide to consult with an attorney about your case. If you do, you will want to ensure that you find one that best suits your needs. During this initial period, make sure to discuss rates with any attorneys you reach out to. Many law firms will not collect any payment unless you win your lawsuit, but you want to ensure you understand how much of your settlement will go to your Surgical Staple lawsuit lawyer following a positive conclusion to your case. 

After you have spoken with a few attorneys and have found the one you feel most comfortable with, the attention will turn to filing your lawsuit. As they gather information, your attorney will work closely with medical professionals and other experts on surgical staples to determine what harm was caused to you by a defect. 

Once your attorney has filed your lawsuit, they will likely start to work on reaching optimal compensation for you. During this time, while they work on your behalf to ensure that you are treated fairly, you will be able to rest and recover from your injuries.

What is the Status of Surgical Staple Lawsuits?

Surgical staple lawsuits are still in the early stages, but those that have been settled in the past have resulted in high compensation for plaintiffs. To date, the largest settlement was $80 million, which was reduced to $19.6 million when it was determined that there was a maximum for punitive damages.

When it comes to lawsuits, how much you ultimately settle for depends on the severity of your injuries and how they have altered your life. Your injuries may be life-altering, or they may result in multiple surgeries but not necessarily affect your everyday life once the surgeries have been completed. 

If your complications lead you to change professions or unable to work, you will be more likely to receive a larger settlement than someone who goes back to everyday life following the resolution of their complications. All these factors determine how much you should be entitled to when a settlement or verdict is reached.

To date, there has not been any multi-district litigation filed. This means that all lawsuits that have been settled have been filed individually, and settlements have been reached without relying on evidence from other similar cases that are being reviewed simultaneously.

Mass tort and class action lawsuits may be forthcoming, and with the evidence mounting for surgical staples causing such adverse effects, more lawsuits will likely be brought forth in the coming months. If mass tort lawsuits come to fruition, it is likely that more people will start to see settlements reached.

If your lawsuit can stand on its own, then you may be able to settle your lawsuit or reach a verdict in court before a mass tort is filed. There is no reason to delay filing, if you do not file in a timely fashion, it could result in missing the statute of limitations deadline.

Am I Qualified for A Surgical Staples Lawsuit?

There are many reasons you may or may not be eligible to file a lawsuit, so you might decide the best way to make sure is to discuss your case with a legal expert who has experience with personal injury and mass tort lawsuits. 

Simply put, if you underwent surgery that required surgical staples to be implemented and are now suffering health complications, you likely qualify for a lawsuit. It is okay if you are unsure, as the lawyers that you speak with will be able to give you a better idea of if your complications should lead to a lawsuit.

Once a personal injury lawyer has agreed to take your lawsuit, they will ask a series of questions regarding your surgery and the complications you suffered. This will help them gain perspective on what you are going through and compare your circumstances to other lawsuits that have been settled previously. Make sure to ask all of the questions that you have and explain thoroughly the symptoms and complications you have suffered.

What Can I Recover in a Surgical Staples Lawsuit?

You may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages if you have suffered complications from surgical staples. Economic damages include medical bills covering your hospital stay, surgery fees, and other medical interventions. These damages also include lost wages, lost future earnings due to a disability, or another serious side effect that causes you to not perform at your job the way you previously did.

Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and emotional distress. There may not be a clear monetary value associated with these damages, but your Surgical Staples Lawsuit lawyer can review your particular damages and compare them to other settlements.

If you have suffered any of these damages from health complications due to surgical staples, you are eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the surgical staples and potentially the hospital where they were administered. Your attorney will work with you to achieve optimal compensation. 

Speak with a Surgical Staples Lawsuit Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has suffered due to complications from surgical staples, you have options for recovering compensation. Starting the process as soon as possible is key to ensuring that you take the necessary time to find the right lawyer for you and get your lawsuit filed within the statute of limitations. As the deadline approaches, you do not want to feel rushed as you try to find a mass tort attorney who can help you. 

If at any time during the post-surgery period, you feel that surgical staples could be the reason for your health complications, you may want to reach out for legal counsel. A ,personal injury attorney will be able to assist you with your lawsuit, and file one should it be necessary.

The best thing you and your loved ones can do is remain calm and speak with professionals about your health so that you can focus all your attention on getting healthy. When you are ready to take the next step and seek legal representation from a mass tort attorney, do not hesitate to fill out the contact form on our website

References:

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  1. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/letters-health-care-providers/safe-use-surgical-staplers-and-staples-letter-health-care-providers
  2. https://www.drugwatch.com/surgical-staplers/lawsuits/