Insurance Companies Seeking Compensation From Defective Device Manufacturers
Insurance companies are beginning to pin medical device manufacturers for financial costs of recalled medical devices. According to a recent Reuters analysis, the increasing numbers of high profile recalls are leading insurance companies to become more aggressive in demanding compensation from the device manufacturers.
Companies are providing subrogation services to help insurance companies recover payments from the party at fault. Recovery service firms include Rawlings & Associates, Trover Solutions Group, HealthCare Subrogation Group and Meridian Resource Company.
Rawlings is currently pursuing over 30 mass tort cases. Three years ago, the company pursued an average of three a year. When recall cases become multi-district litigations, insurance companies often turn to the recovery companies.
Prior recoveries include getting funds from manufacturers of the Sulzer Medical defective hip implant in 2000, and Medtronic’s defibrillator leads in 2007. According to a study published in the Heart Rhythm Journal, the Medtronic Fidelis recall cost Medicare approximately $278 million over five years. Approximately 24,000 patients underwent procedures in 2005 after experiencing problems with the Medtronic device.
“We expect manufacturers to take reasonable responsibility for costs associated with a recall of their products to prevent the healthcare system from absorbing the impact,” said Aetna spokeswoman Tammy Arnold. Aetna has had success in recovering reimbursement from medical manufacturers and negotiating payments to patients for costs associated with the defective devices.
Over a hundred medical devices recalls have been issued this year. A major recall of the past few years is the DePuy ASR hip recall of August 2010, which withdrew 93,000 hip implants from the market and affected thousands of patients who had to undergo painful and difficult revision surgery. DePuy ASR lawsuits have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation.
Other recent recalls include the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II hip recall, issued because of the devices’ tendency to corrode and fret. Victims of hip implant recalls suffer from problems such as pain, inflammation, and metallosis—or metal poisoning that may lead to hip replacement surgery.
The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are currently filing lawsuits on behalf of patients of defective metal-on-metal hips and other medical devices. Don’t only wait for the insurance company to seek reimbursement—protect your legal rights and speak to a lawyer by calling 1-877-779-1414.