My husband had back surgery back in January 2017 and had 2 screws break 2 weeks after his surgery. What are the procedures he needs to follow up with. He is having to have another surgery in October 2017 to take out broken screws and new screws put in.

My husband had back surgery/ lower back fusion back in January 2017 and 2 weeks
later the 2 screws used broke. No fusion is happening on either side of the
broken screws. Now come October he will have to have another surgery to take out
the broken screws and new ones installed. Would there be some kind of case here?

Asked on September 12, 2017 under Malpractice Law, Arizona


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your husband can sue the manufacturer of the screws for negligence and strict liability.
Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that the manufacturer should have exercised to produce a product that is not defective).
Strict liability imposes liability whether or not due care was exercised.
Prior to filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer, it may be possible to settle the case with the manufacturer's insurance carrier.  Your husband should notify the manufacturer and manufacturer's insurance carrier in writing of his product liability claim.
When your husband completes his medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in his medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, he should obtain his medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  His claim filed with the manufacturer's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document your husband's medical condition caused by the defective screws and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the screw manufacturer's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If your husband is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, he should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit against the screw manufacturer for negligence and strict liability.  Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims) in the lawsuit.
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit against the screw manufacturer must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your husband will lose his rights forever in the matter.

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