When Chicago consumers purchase products, they are under the impression that the items are safe for normal use. This is because manufacturers have a duty to keep consumers safe. When they are made aware that their products are dangerous, they have a responsibility to issue a recall and make consumers aware of the problem. But, even after learning that many of its products had stopped working, Advanced Bionics continued to sell cochlear implants to adults and children.
The defective products in question are HiRes 90K implants, which are hearing restoration devices implanted into the skull. Between January 2003 and the summer of 2005, Advanced Bionics received hundreds of reports from upset consumers who claimed that their implants stopped working. Some patients -- including children -- even suffered shocks to the head due to excessive moisture found in the implants. Despite the warnings, the company continued to insert the implants into children. The company finally issued recalls in 2004 and 2006.
Advanced Bionics claims that the implants were kept on the market because the company could not determine the cause of the problem. However, the Food and Drug Administration conducted a review in 2006 and concluded that the company failed to maintain quality in its products. In addition, the company was selling implants with different components than what the FDA approved. Advanced Bionics paid settlements to the FDA and several consumers who filed lawsuits.
The defective implants could have caused more than just shocks to the head. With the implant inserted so close to the brain, the company is fortunate that patients did not suffer lifelong injuries or even death. Those injured by a manufacturer's negligence have the right to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. An experienced Illinois personal injury attorney can provide more information on how to pursue such a claim.
Source: Today, "Defective cochlear implants shocked kids — even though company had been warned" Michael Kosnar and Lisa Myers, Mar. 14, 2014