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Surgical Stapler Injuries: Can You File a Lawsuit?

Monday October 9, 2023

Surgical staples have become a popular alternative to stitches for closing up a patient’s surgical wounds. However, in recent years, defective surgical staplers produced by a few different manufacturers have caused surgical staples injuries. These defective staples have resulted in serious health conditions and death for several patients.

If you’ve been injured by surgical staples, a product liability lawyer can review your case and identify whether you have sufficient grounds for filing a surgical stapler lawsuit to recover injury compensation. Here is what you need to know.

Surgical Stapler Injuries and Their Impact

Surgical staples are used during surgery to help a patient’s surgical wounds heal. They can be used inside the body to hold organs and tissues together and in the skin to hold the surgical cuts closed as they heal. 

Most surgical stapler injuries are caused by defective surgical staples. Some of the most common serious surgical staple injuries include:

  • Sepsis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Tissue tears
  • Organ tears
  • Organs fusing to internal tissue
  • Increased cancer risk

Surgical staples are often used in straightforward medical procedures that carry little risk for the patient. However, the complications that can arise from defective surgical staples can easily result in severe and fatal health complications that involve considerable suffering and incur extensive medical costs.

Defective Staplers: What You Need to Know

Surgical staples offer a higher level of accuracy than stitches and are less prone to human error. Using a surgical stapler is also faster than stitching a wound closed, which reduces surgery time and the amount of time a patient is under anesthesia.

Additionally, these staples are designed to reduce the amount of inflammation experienced at the wound site, which ought to result in less inflammation and a faster and more comfortable recovery.

In reality, though, surgical staples often fail to live up to their supposed benefits. There have been a variety of issues with both the design of the surgical staplers as well as with the performance of the staples themselves. Some of the most common issues experienced with surgical staples include:

  • Misfiring staplers
  • Malformed staples
  • Failure to hold the wound together properly

There have also been instances involving the incorrect size staple being used to hold a patient’s wounds together. While a medical professional’s mistake in using surgical staples correctly would be an instance of medical malpractice, the most common issues with surgical staples are not usually the fault of the medical professionals using them.

Instead, surgical staples with significant design flaws that lead to injury are a product liability concern. Specifically, surgical staple injuries typically fall into the category of personal injury law known as defective medical devices.

Legal Grounds for Filing a Surgical Stapler Injury Lawsuit

Recovering compensation for surgical staple injuries in Connecticut requires first proving negligence. You need a product liability attorney to review your case and build an argument proving how the staple manufacturer’s design directly resulted in the surgical stapler injuries. This requires meeting four criteria, demonstrating:

  • The surgical stapler manufacturer had a duty to create a safe product
  • This duty was violated by the design of defective surgical staples or staplers
  • The patient experienced injuries as a result of this design defect
  • The patient can provide proof of their injuries

Once negligence is established, a product liability lawyer may attempt to negotiate with the surgical staple manufacturer to arrive at a settlement. If that approach is unsuccessful, they can file a surgical staple injury lawsuit and take the case to court for a verdict.

Understanding Surgical Stapler Injury Compensation

In many types of personal injury cases, lawyers prefer to arrive at a settlement. Negotiation is usually faster than litigation, and it allows both sides to have a say in the final outcome. Whether your case settles or goes to court, you can seek damages to cover the different losses your injuries caused. These include things like:

  • Medical costs incurred by stapler complications
  • Medical devices
  • Prescription medications
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Emotional damages
  • Wrongful death compensation

Taking a case to court also allows for the possibility of recovering punitive damages. These are ordered by a judge in addition to other compensation. Punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases, but they’ve been awarded in at least one surgical stapler lawsuit.

Frequently Asked Questions About Surgical Staplers

How Much Compensation Can a Surgical Stapler Lawyer Recover?

Surgical staple injury compensation depends on the type of injuries and the extent of the patient’s medical bills. Courts also take into consideration factors like the victim’s age and number of dependents.

Compensation is further dependent on factors like whether the patient will make a full recovery and the experience level and skill of their surgical stapler lawyer.

Who Pays for Surgical Stapler Injuries?

Surgical stapler injuries are usually caused by a designed defect, which makes the manufacturer responsible for paying for injuries. Most surgical stapler lawsuits have thus far focused on three surgical staple manufacturers: Covidien, Medtronic, and Ethicon.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Connecticut Surgical Stapler Lawyer?

The Connecticut surgical stapler lawyers at Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, P.C. work on contingency. You pay nothing up front, and you only pay for our services if we win your case.

Speak With a Connecticut Surgical Stapler Lawyer Today

Surgical staples are designed to facilitate faster healing. When they cause serious illness and injury, you have grounds to recover injury compensation. The experienced Connecticut product liability lawyers at Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, P.C. have a long track record of recovering the compensation their injured clients deserve.

Call our team today to schedule a free consultation to discuss whether you qualify for surgical staple injury compensation.

Get in Touch

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, P.C., we handle all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid unless and until you receive a settlement or a jury award.

Schedule a free, confidential consultation with a skilled Connecticut personal injury lawyer today.

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