Patient’s Shoulder Joint Destroyed by Pain Pump

In early 2008, Michael Johnson underwent two arthroscopic surgeries on his left shoulder over a two-month period.  At the end of each procedure, the surgeon implanted a Moog Accufuser Pain Pump into the patient’s joint cavity. The pump was used to inject pain medication directly into Johnson’s shoulder, continuously, for up to 72 hours following his procedure.

Johnson was later diagnosed with destruction of the cartilage in the joint, known as chondrolysis. Almost one year after the first surgery, the patient underwent a total shoulder replacement. He continues to suffer pain and experiences loss of function in his left shoulder and left arm and he will require continuous treatment.

Johnson sued Moog, Inc., and several related companies who were responsible for the pain pump’s design, manufacture, and distribution, alleging that the direct infusion of the anesthetics into his shoulder joint destroyed the cartilage. He further contended that the pump was unreasonably dangerous and defective, because, when used as intended, it delivered dangerously high doses of medication directly into the joint.

Johnson also alleged that the manufacturer failed to include a precaution against placing the device’s catheter portion directly into the shoulder joint and failed to warn the U.S. medical community that:

–       The safety of the pain pump had not been established for use in the shoulder joint space

–       Continuous injection of anesthetics into the joint space for two days or more could cause permanent cartilage damage

–       The FDA had considered, but rejected, pain pump manufacturers’ requests to include this indication on the label.

The plaintiff then alleged negligent design, manufacture, and warning claims, and negligent failure to test the pump to determine whether it could damage articular cartilage.

The parties settled for a confidential amount.

Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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