It’s been a while since we’ve heard much on the subject of St. Jude’s troubles over its Riata Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator lead. That changed with the news that a personal injury lawsuit had been filed against the company, citing injuries suffered due to defects in the product.
Heart Problems for St. Jude’s Riata
Like night follows day, when something goes wrong in healthcare, it’s never left at that. After all, there must be someone to blame, and where there’s blame there’s a claim. Nobody’s doubting the fact that sufferers from device defects suffer bad things that sit somewhere on a spectrum from mild inconvenience to…well, something much worse. And if you’re one of them, you need appropriate compensation. Equally however one wonders whether the world might be a happier place if this practice of extracting maximum poundage of financial flesh from hapless companies whenever something goes wrong was a little less overt. Legal firms spend money issuing press releases about its activities for one reason only, and it’s not an altruistic one.
So to the facts as reported in said Riata press release.
Robert Loiseau of Southampton, Pennsylvania, has filed a personal injury lawsuit against St. Jude Medical for injuries he suffered due to Riata manufacturing defects. Mr. Loiseau was implanted with the device in September 2007 and learned that the lead was defective in 2012. In common with other unlucky people the plaintiff underwent invasive surgery to remove and replace the defective lead on April 12, 2012. When the Riata device was removed it was discovered that the lead had fractured and would have malfunctioned had Loiseau needed an electrical shock from his defibrillator (so says a press release issued by the plaintiff’s legal representatives).
As a result of the defect, Loiseau claims to have suffered physical pain, mental anguish, and lost income.
All of which is great news for the legalists, offering their services with such selfless generosity of spirit (they’ll even review your claim for free without any obligation) to victims of yet another piece of corporate skullduggery.
Except that at the time of Mr Loiseau’s implantation the problem had not been spotted or was at least not fully understood. Yes it was a problem, and yes it may have had its underpinnings in “goodness knows what” activity that should have happened, but didn’t. But the implication that companies push out products willy nilly and in so doing risk patients well-being in the chase for revenue is plain bonkers. Are we really saying that a company the size of St. Jude cut corners, with all the risk that entails, to make a bit of extra cash?
So let’s get it right. If you have been implanted with one of these Riata leads, that’s bad luck (affecting some 250,000 people apparently), and you’re undoubtedly going to get something from the company. The good news is that you’re still here. You’re lucky!
The gimlet eyed ambulance chasers are right behind you, with their eyes on the prize. It may be no win no fee, but when it’s an open goal like this, it’s not a question of no fee, only how much.
Don’t misunderstand me. Companies make mistakes, and the more willful or careless the mistake the bigger the compensatory payment they should make to their victims. And to make sure you do get maximum recompense you need a legal representative to help you stand up against the company’s team. And if you’re a legal company, you want to attract people to your door by issuing magnetic press releases telling the world you’re the place to go for help. Crikey, I’ll have talked myself into liking them next.