Rose, Klein & Marias LLP
Select An Office To Call Now
  • Los Angeles: 213-784-2801
  • Cerritos: 562-606-0348
  • Ontario: 909-581-9476
  • San Diego: 619-677-1431
  • Ventura: 805-290-4882

Judge: medical implants not subject to strict products liability

Recently, a California appellate court ruled that the legal doctrine of strict liability does not apply to medical devices that a doctor prescribed and implanted. The case involved an allegedly defective product, namely, a femur implant. The plaintiff in the case, a cancer patient, alleged that the femur implant that he had fractured because it was made with material that was too soft, forcing him to undergo surgery and endure an extremely difficult recuperation. Thus, the plaintiff argued that the maker of the implant breached a duty of care to him by selling a defective product. The judge ruled that the device was medically prescribed and thus, was exempt from the doctrine of strict liability for public policy reasons. The court, however, ruled that the plaintiff could recover damages for negligence and for the design defect.

Strict liability is a doctrine in personal injury law that allows plaintiffs to recover damages for injuries even if the defendant was not negligent. In the context of products liability, plaintiffs use this doctrine to recover damages for the making or selling of defective products, even without proof of the manufacturer's or seller's negligence. Strict products liability involves an absolute duty to make safe products, and it typically applies to the manufacture or sale of products with a high risk of potential injury to the consumer.

Injuries from defective products can occur almost anywhere. They can occur on the job due to negligence or to defective equipment, or they can occur in leisure time due to defective products being used for recreation, travel or, in this case, for medical reasons. Oftentimes, there is no way to warn a potential customer that a product is defective; unfortunately, most of the time, only the experience of enduring an injury or illness due to the defect serves as a warning to consumers.

Fortunately, anyone injured due to a defective product is entitled to adequate monetary compensation. The victim may recover monetary damages from the defendant for products liability and may also recover workers' compensation if the injury was on the job. Those injured by a defective product have the ability to hold the responsible actors accountable.

Source:, "C.A. Declines to Extend Strict Liability to Medical Implants," Kenneth Ofgang, Nov. 28, 2012

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Schedule Your Free Consultation

You Only Pay If We Win: Contact Us Today

Complete the form below to schedule a free initial consultation.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Schedule your free consultation:

Los Angeles: 213-784-2801
Cerritos: 562-606-0348
Ontario: 909-581-9476
San Diego: 619-677-1431
Ventura: 805-290-4882

View all locations

Firm Affiliations: