An Oregon woman who claims she was permanently disabled by a pain pump used following shoulder surgery is being given another stab at suing the company that manufactured the alleged defective device.
Christina McClellan underwent two surgeries to repair her shoulder joint, after which she was prescribed painkillers delivered through I-Flow’s Pain Buster pain pump, manufactured by Kimberly-Clark. After her second surgery in 2004, she was diagnosed with chondrolysis, or the loss of cartilage, in her shoulder joint. This caused the ball-and-socket portion of her shoulder to fuse together. She now has no motion in her shoulder joint and doctors say no surgeries can treat her condition.
McClellan filed a lawsuit against I-Flow in 2007 alleging negligence and strict products liability, alleging the company failed to warn doctors and patients that the pain pump should not be used in situations like hers. Before the case went to the jury, the district court declined to give some requested instructions under the assumption that federal court would not allow that information to be considered. The Oregon federal jury found in favor of I-Flow, and McClellan filed an appeal.
The appeals court found that the lower court incorrectly believed that federal law preempted the requested jury instructions, and vacated the Oregon federal jury’s dismissal, granting McClellan another day in court to prove her case against the medical device manufacturer.
Source: Law 360