Home Health Law No Medical Machine Exemptions to Texas Statute of Repose

No Medical Machine Exemptions to Texas Statute of Repose

No Medical Machine Exemptions to Texas Statute of Repose


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It’s a brief week, so we’re going to do a brief publish a few quick determination on a product that lasted a very long time. 

An inferior vena cava (“IVC”) filter was implanted in plaintiff in 2004.  Some years later she skilled a complication, not recognized within the determination, which led her to file a merchandise legal responsibility go well with towards the producer in June 2022 – over 18 years later.  In re Prepare dinner Medical, Inc., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205990, at *1 (S.D. Ind. Sep. 27, 2023).  Plaintiff is a resident of Texas and had her 2004 surgical procedure in Texas, so the courtroom utilized Texas regulation which has a 15-year statue of repose. 

A statute of repose units a definitive date past which an motion can’t be filed.  It doesn’t matter that plaintiff’s reason behind motion has not but accrued.  A statute of repose is triggered by an occasion just like the sale of the product and establishes a vivid line cutoff that extinguishes legal responsibility.  For that motive, statutes of repose are thought of protection pleasant.  However they usually require a big time frame to move.  The usual is round 10-15 years from sale or producer. (Be aware Montana’s is barely 3 years). 

And whereas they’re often laborious and quick guidelines, some statutes of repose, like Texas’s, have exceptions.  Texas regulation gives that the 15-year statute of repose doesn’t apply if the product is accompanied by an categorical guarantee “that the product has a helpful secure lifetime of longer than 15 years.”  Id. at *2.  On this case, plaintiff tried to depend on language within the IVC filter’s Affected person Information that mentioned the product was secure efficient as a short lived or everlasting machine.  Id. at *3.  Nonetheless, the Affected person Information additionally lists attainable opposed results reminiscent of migration of the machine or perforation of the vena cava.  Learn collectively, the Affected person Information did “not assure the [filter] would conform to a selected commonplace at some stage in [plaintiff’s] life.”  Id. at *4.  Any “guarantee” that the product might stay completely implanted was certified by the identification of attainable opposed occasions.  Because the producer didn’t warrant the IVC filter had a “helpful secure life” of greater than 15 years, this exception didn’t apply.  Whereas this will appear case-specific, it’s laborious to think about any producer of an implantable medical machine warranting the life span of its product given the entire variables of the human physique, an individual’s therapeutic capability, an individual’s compliance with medical recommendation, and so on. 

Plaintiff subsequent argued she certified for the “latent illness” exception.  This exception gives that if a plaintiff is uncovered to a product earlier than the tip of 15 years, that publicity triggered plaintiff’s illness, however the signs of the illness didn’t manifest in a fairly noticeable means till after 15 years had handed, the statute of repose doesn’t apply.  Discover the phrase “illness.”  Plaintiff tried to argue that “illness” ought to be broadly interpreted to incorporate “medical machine failures.”  Id. at *5.  Not solely did plaintiff haven’t any case regulation to assist her interpretation, however the statute additionally establishing the exception doesn’t point out medical gadgets or the varieties of accidents that come up from them.  The plain language of the statue applies to “illnesses ensuing from publicity to a product.”  Id.  Assume asbestos, lead, Agent Orange.  Not a medical machine that works as meant for greater than 15 years. 

Defendants’ movement for judgment on the pleadings was granted in its entirety.



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