Manufacturer’s defects in poorly designed manual wheelchair lead to serious injury and big compensation
All too often, the medical devices, treatments, and drugs designed to cure or alleviate a condition only serve to make matters worse. When this occurs due to defects related to design, manufacturing, or safety warnings, victims deserve compensation.
A perfect example of this type of case was recently decided in San Diego. The case involved multiple defects in a Quickie Q7 manual wheelchair, which caused the plaintiff, Toby Morin, to suffer life-altering injuries.
The Quickie Q7 was introduced by manufacturer Sunrise Medical in 2009. At that time, the design called for the bolts holding the wheelchair seat frame together to be installed with the threaded ends facing outward, away from the person using the wheelchair. After users complained that the bolts were backing out, the design was changed so that the bolts could be installed in the opposite direction with the threaded ends facing inward.
In 2011, Toby Morin purchased his Quickie Q7 on the recommendation of National Seating. In 2013, Morin’s wheelchair was updated to incorporate the new design.
In 2014, one of the inward-facing bolts gave Morin a puncture wound. About a month later, one of the seat screws and an aluminum seat rail failed, and Morin fell out of his wheelchair, aggravating the wound. Although Morin did receive medical treatment, the wound failed to close. It has remained open for almost three years.
At the time his personal injury lawsuit went to trial, the wound still had not fully resolved. Experts estimated the future cost of treatment for the open wound and related nerve injuries at nearly $5 million.
During the trial, Morin and his attorneys argued that Sunrise Medical should be liable for Morin’s injuries for several reasons:
- The wheelchair’s design was dangerous and defective because the screws and aluminum rail used to secure the wheelchair seat are too weak to support the weight of an average person
- The update to the design (which changed the orientation of the screws) was also dangerous and defective because it created the potential for puncture wounds
- The instructions that Sunrise Medical provided to National Seating regarding the design update were inadequate and negligent
After just 2 days of deliberation, the jury awarded damages in the amount of $9.8 million to Morin. This included $4.8 million for medical care and life care, plus current and future non-economic damages totaling $5 million.
How to Sue a Medical Device Manufacturer
If you believe that you have been injured due to a defective medical device, you may be entitled to compensation. The best thing for you to do is contact an experienced defective product injury attorney such as The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker. We have the knowledge and resources required to go up against big medical companies and win, and you can rely on us for an accurate and honest assessment of the value of your potential case. To learn more, please contact us at 800-333-0000 for a free initial consultation.