It’s a brief week, so we’re going to do a brief put up a few quick resolution on a product that lasted a very long time.
An inferior vena cava (“IVC”) filter was implanted in plaintiff in 2004. Some years later she skilled a complication, not recognized within the resolution, which led her to file a merchandise legal responsibility swimsuit towards the producer in June 2022 – over 18 years later. In re Prepare dinner Medical, Inc., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205990, at *1 (S.D. Ind. Sep. 27, 2023). Plaintiff is a resident of Texas and had her 2004 surgical procedure in Texas, so the court docket utilized Texas legislation which has a 15-year statue of repose.
A statute of repose units a definitive date past which an motion can’t be filed. It doesn’t matter that plaintiff’s reason behind motion has not but accrued. A statute of repose is triggered by an occasion just like the sale of the product and establishes a brilliant line cutoff that extinguishes legal responsibility. For that motive, statutes of repose are thought-about protection pleasant. However they usually require a big time period to cross. The usual is round 10-15 years from sale or producer. (Be aware Montana’s is barely 3 years).
And whereas they’re often onerous and quick guidelines, some statutes of repose, like Texas’s, have exceptions. Texas legislation gives that the 15-year statute of repose doesn’t apply if the product is accompanied by an specific guarantee “that the product has a helpful secure lifetime of longer than 15 years.” Id. at *2. On this case, plaintiff tried to depend on language within the IVC filter’s Affected person Information that stated the product was secure efficient as a short lived or everlasting system. Id. at *3. Nevertheless, the Affected person Information additionally lists potential opposed results resembling migration of the system or perforation of the vena cava. Learn collectively, the Affected person Information did “not assure the [filter] would conform to a selected customary at some point of [plaintiff’s] life.” Id. at *4. Any “guarantee” that the product might stay completely implanted was certified by the identification of potential opposed occasions. For the reason that producer didn’t warrant the IVC filter had a “helpful secure life” of greater than 15 years, this exception didn’t apply. Whereas this may increasingly appear case-specific, it’s onerous to think about any producer of an implantable medical system warranting the life span of its product given the entire variables of the human physique, an individual’s therapeutic capability, an individual’s compliance with medical recommendation, and so forth.
Plaintiff subsequent argued she certified for the “latent illness” exception. This exception gives that if a plaintiff is uncovered to a product earlier than the tip of 15 years, that publicity brought about plaintiff’s illness, however the signs of the illness didn’t manifest in a fairly noticeable approach till after 15 years had handed, the statute of repose doesn’t apply. Discover the phrase “illness.” Plaintiff tried to argue that “illness” needs to be broadly interpreted to incorporate “medical system failures.” Id. at *5. Not solely did plaintiff haven’t any case legislation to assist her interpretation, however the statute additionally establishing the exception doesn’t point out medical gadgets or the forms of accidents that come up from them. The plain language of the statue applies to “ailments ensuing from publicity to a product.” Id. Assume asbestos, lead, Agent Orange. Not a medical system that works as meant for greater than 15 years.
Defendants’ movement for judgment on the pleadings was granted in its entirety.