Judge dismisses suit by woman who says hip implant poisoned her blood

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices:

A New Jersey federal judge has dismissed a strict liability and fraud suit filed by a woman who says her Smith & Nephew hip implant released high levels of toxic metals into her body.

Senior U.S. District Judge William H. Walls of the District of New Jersey ruled that the claims Deborah Becker asserted over her failed metal-on-metal prosthetic hip are either federally preempted or insufficiently pleaded under New Jersey law. The judge dismissed the suit without prejudice, giving Becker time to file an amended complaint that remedies its shortcomings.

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Defective football helmet caused California teen’s death, suit says

From Westlaw Journal Products Liability:  A California woman alleges in a state court lawsuit that her son died because a defective helmet made by Riddell Inc., failed to protect him during a high school football game.

Tina York’s negligence and strict liability suit filed in the Riverside County Superior Court says her son Tyler Lewellen, 16, was tackled during scrimmage and suffered a blow to the head while wearing a Riddell helmet. He lost consciousness, slipped into a coma and died six days later, the suit says.

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Defect, negligence claims advance in Pennsylvania spinal rod suit

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices:

A Philadelphia federal judge has allowed a man to proceed with manufacturing defect, failure-to-warn and negligence claims stemming from the failure of his two Synthes spinal fixation rods.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled James Wilson can proceed with the claims against Synthes USA Products LLC and four corporate relatives because he has provided enough preliminary supporting information on each claim to withstand the defendants’ dismissal motion.

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Judge rejects bid for factory video inspection in surgical stapler case

From Westlaw Journal Medical DevicesA plaintiff’s request to conduct a videotaped inspection of Ethicon Endo-Surgery’s surgical stapler factory was properly denied because it would be of “minimal value,” a Minnesota federal judge has decided.

Chief U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim of the District of Minnesota issued the decision in the case of Susan Webb, who says she sustained permanent brain injuries because an Ethicon surgical stapler failed to fire during her 2009 esophageal surgery.

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Minnesota federal judge tosses defect suit by woman still using recalled car seat

From Westlaw Journal Products Liability:  A Minnesota federal judge has granted Evenflo Co.’s motion to dismiss a breach-of-warranty suit filed by a woman who admits she is still using the defective child’s car seat that was the basis for her action.

U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery of the District of Minnesota dismissed the proposed class-action suit Sadie Browe filed over malfunctioning latches on her child’s Evenflo Sureride DLX 65 car seat. The judge said Browe lacks a cause of action for her leading claims, including that for breach of implied warranty of merchantability.

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Former OtisMed CEO gets jail term for improper surgical tool sales

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices:

The former CEO of OtisMed Corp. has been sentenced to two years in jail and fined $75,000 for ordering the continued distribution of a surgical tool after federal regulators warned the company to stop.

Charlie Chi was sentenced June 26 by Judge Claire C. Cecchi of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. He pleaded guilty in December to three counts of selling adulterated medical devices.

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Los Angeles federal judge returns medical tool infection suits to state court

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices:  A Los Angeles federal judge has remanded to state court six suits alleging that duodenoscopes made by Olympus America Inc. caused fatal bacterial infections.

U.S. District Judge Beverly R. O’Connell of the Central District of California rejected the medical device maker’s argument that the plaintiffs fraudulently joined three of its sales agents as defendants in order to skirt federal court jurisdiction.

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Lumber Liquidators toxic flooring suits consolidated in Virginia federal court

From Westlaw Journal Products Liability:

A federal judicial panel has consolidated 10 class-action suits against Lumber Liquidators over allegedly toxic wood laminate flooring in a Virginia federal court, noting that the company’s headquarters is located nearby.

The lawsuits hail from seven U.S. district courts in California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Oklahoma, according to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s June 12 transfer order. The panel said 113 potentially related suits in other federal courts may soon follow.

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Prosthetic hip plaintiff lacks claim against Connecticut hospital; suit stays in federal court

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices: 

A Connecticut federal judge says a state court suit against Smith & Nephew filed by the recipient of two failed prosthetic hips belongs in his court because the plaintiff has no valid claim against a Bridgeport hospital named in the action.

Roxanne LaFountain sued the medical device maker and St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport in Connecticut state court in 2014, asserting that each bore responsibility for the failure of two Smith & Nephew hip systems implanted Aug. 25 2009, and Nov. 10, 2009.

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Son of New York man fatally crushed by imaging unit sues GE

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices:

By Ronald V. Baker, Senior Legal Writer, Westlaw Journals

General Electric Co. is named in a $25 million negligence and product liability suit by the son of a New York man crushed while undergoing a body scan in a GE nuclear imaging unit.

In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Peter Daria says his father, Anthony Daria, died June 5, 2013, when the GE Infinia Hawkeye 4 gamma camera being used for the test fell on his head and torso.

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The suit says the death resulted from the scanning unit’s “catastrophic mechanical failure” while in typical and foreseeable use at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Bronx.

GE subsidiary and co-defendant GE Healthcare LLC manufactured Infinia Hawkeye 4, according to the complaint.

The suit alleges the imaging system’s failure resulted from a manufacturing defect that neither Anthony Daria nor the U.S. government could have known of in advance. It claims the government either purchased or leased the Infinia Hawkeye 4 for use at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center.

Anthony Daria’s injuries and death were the result of the defendants’ “lack of due care, carelessness, negligence and willful, wanton and reckless conduct” in the machine’s design, assembly, maintenance or selection of component parts, the suit alleges.

(Click here for the complaint on WestlawNext.)

The defendants publicly represented the system as safe and fit for its intended, according to the suit. The failure of the unit in the wake of such representations constitutes a breach of warranty, the complaint says.

Peter Daria, both individually and as administrator of his father’s estate, seeks $25 million in punitive damages. He also seeks unspecified compensatory damages under negligence, product liability and breach-of-warranty claims.

Daria v. General Electric Co. et al., No. 15-cv-2876, complaint filed, 2015 WL 2405136 (S.D.N.Y. May 16, 2015).