It’s a brief week, so we’re going to do a brief put up a couple of quick choice 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 choice, which led her to file a merchandise legal responsibility swimsuit in opposition to 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 legislation 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 shiny line cutoff that extinguishes legal responsibility. For that purpose, statutes of repose are thought of protection pleasant. However they sometimes require a major time period to go. The usual is round 10-15 years from sale or producer. (Notice Montana’s is just 3 years).
And whereas they’re often onerous and quick guidelines, some statutes of repose, like Texas’s, have exceptions. Texas legislation supplies 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 protected 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 protected efficient as a brief or everlasting machine. Id. at *3. Nevertheless, the Affected person Information additionally lists doable adversarial results equivalent to 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 in the course of [plaintiff’s] life.” Id. at *4. Any “guarantee” that the product may stay completely implanted was certified by the identification of doable adversarial occasions. For the reason that producer didn’t warrant the IVC filter had a “helpful protected life” of greater than 15 years, this exception didn’t apply. Whereas this will appear case-specific, it’s onerous to think about any producer of an implantable medical machine warranting the life span of its product given all the variables of the human physique, an individual’s therapeutic capability, an individual’s compliance with medical recommendation, and many others.
Plaintiff subsequent argued she certified for the “latent illness” exception. This exception supplies that if a plaintiff is uncovered to a product earlier than the top of 15 years, that publicity brought about 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 don’t have any case legislation to help her interpretation, however the statute additionally establishing the exception doesn’t point out medical gadgets or the forms 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.