In October 2008, an article by freelance writer Jane Mundy, entitled, “Shoulder Pain Pumps””Pumping Pain, No Gain” discussed the status of shoulder pain pump injury litigation. At the time, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) had recently denied a petition to consolidate all the pain pump lawsuits filed in federal courts throughout the country.

The MDL panel found that, although the shoulder pain pump cases all involve the common question of whether the devices cause the development of Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chondrolysis (PAGCL), consolidation was not appropriate given the number of different pain pump manufacturers involved and the different anesthetic drugs used. As a result of that ruling, shoulder pain pump lawsuits have remained separate and have been proceeding as individual cases.

Pain Pump Litigation Update

Numerous lawsuits are now pending against companies that manufacture, market or distribute post-operative pain pumps, including the Stryker pain pump and On-Q pain pump. The shoulder pain pump lawsuits allege, among other things, that the manufacturers of shoulder pain pumps failed to instruct or warn the U.S. medical community that the safety of using the pain pumps in the shoulder joint had not been established. Additionally, the lawsuits claim that continuous injections of commonly used anesthetics (pain drugs) may cause permanent injury, including PAGCL.

Since the Jane Mundy shoulder pain pump article was published, a landmark victory for all injured consumers was won in the United States Supreme Court. In Wyeth v. Levine, the court held that state juries may award damages for harm from unsafe drugs even though their manufacturers were in compliance with federal regulators.

The Wyeth case involved a musician from Vermont whose arm had to be amputated after she was injected with the anti-nausea drug Phenergan. The drug’s manufacturer, Wyeth, had argued that its compliance with Food and Drug Administration regulations should immunize it from personal injury lawsuits.  Bernstein Liebhard lawyers filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S.Supreme Court on behalf of consumer advocates, doctors and others supporting Ms. Levine.  The brief was cited by the Supreme Court and by Levine’s counsel in oral arguments. 

Contact a Pain Pump Attorney

If you or family member experienced arthroscopic cartilage damage, chondrolysis, or other serious shoulder problems after receiving a shoulder pain pump, contact our law firm today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Our attorneys can review the circumstances surrounding the injury and help determine if you may qualify for a shoulder pain pump lawsuit. There are no fees or expenses for our services unless a recovery is obtained.

Published November 17, 2011 by