PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Parker Waichman LLP notes a significant loss for medical device manufacturer, Medtronic, Inc. Judge Mark H. Neill of St. Louis' 22nd Judicial Circuit has ruled that the company's Infuse medical device may have been marketed fraudulently, and that charges of manufacturing defect, breach of warranty and a failure to warn of the device's dangers would have to now face a jury.
Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by defective medical devices, has been successful in beating back a last-minute effort by Medtronic, Inc. to avoid a jury trial in the case of plaintiffs who suffered significant injuries as a result of the company's Infuse medical device. In Ennis Brian Anders, et al., vs. Medtronic, Inc., et al., No. 1311-CC10210-02, Division No. 5, the Missouri Circuit Court not only viewed all of Medtronic's defenses to the charges as questions for the jury, but also denied any transfer of the case out of the City of St. Louis.
Jerrold S. Parker, Founding Partner at Parker Waichman said that, "neither dismissing the case without a jury trial nor transferring the trial would have been acceptable. Judge Neill dealt with each argument in turn and rejected them all." Mr. Parker noted that, "The Court found that it had personal jurisdiction over each of the plaintiffs' claims, which concerned Medtronic's marketing of the Infuse devices and other activities in Missouri and the City of St. Louis." Parker also pointed to the Court's holding that evidence in the case additionally "supports a finding that the Infuse device that injured her [Plaintiff Trisha Keim] departed from its intended design, including that the parts were sold separately rather than together, that at least one of the components used in Keim's surgery (the cage) was unapproved by the FDA, and that the device that injured Plaintiff did not include all of its intended parts."
Court documents alleged product liability and fraud against Medtronic and its subsidiaries over the Infuse Bone Graft LT-Cage Lumbar Tapered Fusion Device System. Allegations also involved the impermissible promotion of off-label uses of Infuse which caused plaintiffs severe spinal injuries. While Medtronic claimed that it had no involvement in the design and marketing of the Infuse device, Judge Neill disagreed, specifically pointing to evidence in the record which supported plaintiffs' claims that Medtronic had been "intimately involved in the design, manufacture and marketing of Infuse medical devices."
As to specific violations of state law, Judge Neill followed U.S. Supreme Court precedent in agreeing with plaintiffs that federal law did not exclude those claims under the so-called "preemption doctrine." In this case, the Court said, state law paralleled those federal requirements. The Court then held that plaintiffs had properly alleged failure to warn, breach of warranty, and manufacturing defect causes of action against Medtronic pursuant to state law. A particularly interesting point was the Court's finding that plaintiffs made a case against Medtronic for violating Missouri's Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) in marketing Infuse. The Act specifically prohibits using "deception, fraud, false pretenses, false promise, misrepresentation" or other acts such as concealment or suppression of key facts in marketing any product, such as Infuse, in the state, according to Judge Neill.
The Court's December 2, 2016, Order denied Medtronic's motion for dismissal, transfer, or summary judgment with respect to plaintiffs' claims denied. The case now moves to trial in the City of St. Louis in February, 2017.
"We are pleased," said Mr. Parker, "to see the litigation continue and that the Court has denied all nine of Medtronic's summary requests in favor of the plaintiff."
Parker Waichman offers free legal consultations to Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft Injuries victims. Please contact the firm concerning Medtronic injuries at the firm's website at yourlawyer.com or by calling 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).
SOURCE Parker Waichman LLP