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Knoxville Medical Malpractice Attorney > Blog > Medical Malpractice > Medical Malpractice And Medical Device Failure: What Is The Difference, And What Are Your Legal Rights In Each Scenario?

Medical Malpractice And Medical Device Failure: What Is The Difference, And What Are Your Legal Rights In Each Scenario?


Unfortunately it is not rare for someone to experience adverse health effects after a medical procedure, hospital visit, or implantation of a device designed to improve one’s health long-term. Tennessee sees almost 2,000 health care liability claims filed each year, each alleging some type of negligence by a medical provider.

At times, it may be confusing to a patient or loved ones when the negative effects are linked to the implant of a device or material such as a coronary stent, artificial knee, or breast implant.

Medical devices or implants typically include:

  • Pacemakers
  • Artificial Hips
  • Pelvic Mesh
  • Knee, Hip, and Shoulder Implants
  • Coronary Stents
  • Grafts

Millions of Americans live with one (or several) medical implants without concern, and many don’t think about how the product was developed and tested before it was inserted into their body. Usually they don’t need to think about it – the medical implant works perfectly fine and the patient experiences no issues in subsequent years.

This is not always the case, however. It is possible that the health care providers administering the procedure exercised due care and made no mistakes whatsoever, yet the patient experiences serious problems later. This may be due to some defect within the product or material itself. Studies have shown there is always a chance of a patient experiencing issues with an implant, sometimes due to lack of testing by the manufacturer, or manufacturing defects that were not caught before the product went on the market.

In these situations, it is natural for a person or their family to look toward the hospital or surgeon for explanations, or to assign blame to the medical provider. Issues with medical products or devices don’t necessarily meet the requirements for a Health Care Liability Claim in Tennessee, however.

If a person or their loved one has been injured due to a defective medical implant or device, they may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer or supplier of that product. Only in rare cases can the doctor or hospital facility be sued due to a defective medical device. (The Plaintiff would need to show that the provider knew or should have known that a particular device or material could cause the harm suffered by the Plaintiff.)

When a Plaintiff Can Sue for Medical Negligence 

In situations where the Plaintiff suffered a medical injury due to some act or failure to act by the doctor or other staff at the provider’s facility, they may have standing to sue under Tennessee’s Health Care Liability Act. To do so, they must show that the provider had a duty of care to the patient, that they breached their duty in some manner, and the patient suffered some actual harm as a result.

A patient’s harm in a medical negligence case generally includes complications with their health, or even death in some cases. This brings with it additional medical expenses, lost wages, loss of companionship with a partner, costs of rehabilitation and therapy, and more.

Demonstrating these elements for a medical malpractice claim under Tennessee law often requires the help of an experienced Tennessee medical malpractice attorney to review all evidence and determine the best course of action.

Our Knoxville, Tennessee Medical Malpractice Attorneys Will Evaluate Your Case and Review All Options With You

 Dealing with the effects of a medical injury – whether it was caused by a healthcare provider or a manufacturer’s product – is difficult and complex enough on its own. Figuring out where blame properly lies is also a complicated task, but our Knoxville medical malpractice attorneys at Atkins Brezina, PLLC, have been there before and can guide you through your next steps. You may have important legal rights after a medical injury, and may be entitled to fair compensation from the wrongdoer. If you or a loved one have suffered due to a medical injury, contact us today for help.



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