The decision to file a lawsuit against Medtronic, Inc for damages caused by the use of their Infuse product is one to be made only after careful consideration and research. The first question to be answered is whether or not the Infuse product was actually used in your surgery as there are other products and more traditional methods of dealing with degenerative and injured disks of the spine.
If you have a copy of your medical records relating to your spine operation they should clearly state which product or technique was used in your surgery. If you don't have a copy of the records you can request a copy or authorize your attorney to request a copy on your behalf.
An important factor to know is whether or not your Infuse bone graft surgery was off-label or not. Off-label surgery refers to surgeries that have not been approved by the FDA. While a significant number of claims have been filed for FDA approved surgeries, the most common complaints involve off-label uses such as cervical implantation and multi-layer implantation in the lumber region.
A great number of these complaints deal with complications associated with excessive bone growth, which can occur in both FDA approved and Off-label uses.
Initially it would appear that Infuse lawsuits would be a perfect candidate for a class action lawsuit. Upon closer inspection it is clear that the filing of a class action lawsuit does not lend itself to this type litigation because of the requirement that the injuries suffered in a class action lawsuit must be substantially similar. Given the fact that injuries in an Infuse case can range from mild discomfort to death, it is not possible to lump thousands of claims together and still treat the individuals in the group fairly.
However the good news in this area is that in litigation similar to the Infuse cases, the courts have devised a relatively new procedural device called a multidistrict litigation (MDL) which uses many of the advantages of class action lawsuits, such as consolidated pre-trial procedures, while still protecting the right of each individual patient to present facts unique to their case, including those related to damages.
To many patients the thought of having to deal with the stress of a trial can seem overwhelming, especially in light of the physical and emotional pain they have been forced to endure as a result of their injury. While no-one can tell a client with absolute certainty whether their case will be settled or tried prior to filing a lawsuit, history suggests that most cases will not go to trial.
As your attorney will certainly explain to you generally speaking only a limited number of cases on any given tort are actually tried, with the rest being resolved based upon the outcomes of those trials.