Painbuster Shoulder Pump Lawsuit Results in Defense Verdict

Three lawsuits filed over shoulder chondrolysis allegedly caused by the Painbuster pain pump have resulted in defense verdicts, after a federal jury in Oregon rejected arguments that I-Flow Corp. and DJO should be held liable for the shoulder damage experienced by three plaintiffs who received the pain management device after arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

The Painbuster shoulder pump lawsuits were brought by Danny E. Arvidson, Juan A, Huerta, and Christina McClellan; all of whom alleged that I-Flow and DJO negligently designed the pain pump and failed to adequately warn about the risk of problems when the Painbuster was used to deliver pain medication directly into the shoulder joint, which has been associated with the destruction of shoulder cartilage.

On October 15, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon returned three verdicts in favor of the defendants, finding that at the time each of the plaintiffs received the Painbuster, the warnings were adequate,

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The Painbuster is a continuous infusion device manufactured by I-Flow and distributed by DJO. The plaintiffs alleged that the companies marketed the device for intra-articular use following shoulder surgery, even though the FDA had not approved it for that purpose.

Studies have found that the intra-articular use of shoulder pain pumps to deliver medication directly into the joint space can lead to the development of shoulder chondrolysis, a regenerative disease that causes loss of cartilage in the joint. Symptoms of the condition include a decreased range of motion, pain, as well as popping and grinding of the joint, which tend to develop during the months after use of the pain pump as use of the shoulder increases following the arthroscopic surgery.

In addition to the Painbuster, other pain pumps from different manufacturers, including Stryker Corp., Breg, DePuy, Inc. and Smith & Nephew, Inc., have also been linked to cartilage damage after arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

In November 2009, the FDA required manufacturers of the pumps and the local anesthetics used with the devices to add new warnings about the risk of chondrolysis from should pain pumps. The warnings were designed to alert healthcare professionals that the use of pain pumps following shoulder surgery to infuse medication directly into the joint increases the risk of chondrolysis, particularly involving the shoulder.

In January 2010, an Oregon jury awarded $4.75 million to a plaintiff who filed an I-Flow shoulder pain pump lawsuit over the On-Q Painbuster. According to prior reports, I-Flow shoulder pain pump settlements have been reached in a number of other cases.

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5 Comments

  • DanApril 1, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    Yes I'm just now finding out about this. I got a paper sent to me in 2010 saying that I might be entitled to some money due to the FDA not approving a pain pump that was in my shoulder in 2007 and Pennsylvania Roaring Springs PA. To this day I don't know if I have settlement lawsuit money sitting somewhere or not does anyone have any information on how I can contact the right person to see about t[Show More]Yes I'm just now finding out about this. I got a paper sent to me in 2010 saying that I might be entitled to some money due to the FDA not approving a pain pump that was in my shoulder in 2007 and Pennsylvania Roaring Springs PA. To this day I don't know if I have settlement lawsuit money sitting somewhere or not does anyone have any information on how I can contact the right person to see about this issue thank you? I got orthopedic surgery on my left shoulder. And I'm pretty sure one of the paint pumps was I flow I would like to contact the right people and find out what I need to do.

  • RickApril 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I tore my rotator cuff and had surgery and a painbuster inserted. I never got better and had a second surgery as they said they found more damage. A second painbuster was used. I never got better and a third surgery was done. NO painbuster this time. I did not know why. Never got better and was sent to a different doctor who performed a fourth surgery and shaaved the bones and some other things. I[Show More]I tore my rotator cuff and had surgery and a painbuster inserted. I never got better and had a second surgery as they said they found more damage. A second painbuster was used. I never got better and a third surgery was done. NO painbuster this time. I did not know why. Never got better and was sent to a different doctor who performed a fourth surgery and shaaved the bones and some other things. I now have constant pain and have lost trust in doctors. I wish I knew a lawyer with this background.

  • JamesJuly 13, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Has any one heard of suits. Involving knee problems i had a pain buster put in my knee after my acl transplant and now have no cartilidge left in my knee and have stage three arthritis. Wich is about as bad as it can get for only being twenty two years old my entire life WAS ahead of me now its hard to walk move or even hold a job due to horrible pain. And oh ya for ne one who thought stage three[Show More]Has any one heard of suits. Involving knee problems i had a pain buster put in my knee after my acl transplant and now have no cartilidge left in my knee and have stage three arthritis. Wich is about as bad as it can get for only being twenty two years old my entire life WAS ahead of me now its hard to walk move or even hold a job due to horrible pain. And oh ya for ne one who thought stage three doesnt sound to bad consider this arthritis is measured from one to four. I will have the worst arthritis any human can have by the time im thirty

  • EdFebruary 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    11/13/01 Orthoscopy shoulder surgery by Paul C. Collins MD, Boise, Id. A "Pain Buster BA" was used to manage pain. 9/17/03 examined by Thomas E. Goodwin MD, Boise, Id. for pain and limited motion. Examination disclosed distruction of cartilage. Shoulder replacement recommended. 3/11/08 examined by Michael J. Curtain MD Boise, Id. for continuing pain, limited motion and possible surgery. Exam[Show More]11/13/01 Orthoscopy shoulder surgery by Paul C. Collins MD, Boise, Id. A "Pain Buster BA" was used to manage pain. 9/17/03 examined by Thomas E. Goodwin MD, Boise, Id. for pain and limited motion. Examination disclosed distruction of cartilage. Shoulder replacement recommended. 3/11/08 examined by Michael J. Curtain MD Boise, Id. for continuing pain, limited motion and possible surgery. Examination concluded that due to severe osteoarthritis of the shoulder, corrective surgery for my condition is not an option and when pain could no longer be tolerated, shoulder replacement is the only solution. The pain and expense of a shoulder replacement is a hell of a price to pay for what was initially minor surgery. I don't know if this medication is still in use, but I can think of no other cause for my current condition. My hope is this crap is off the market so others don't suffer as I do.

  • LauralOctober 23, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    The Jury in Oregon just told the Medical Device Corporations that People are not what they care about, its the profit they obtain. Why is it OK to allow these people to Market and sell to surgeons without FDA approval prior to November 2009 with no warnings for Safe Use? Are we just going to let this happen? The manufacturers of the pumps need to do the right thing. Or the FDA needs to do someth[Show More]The Jury in Oregon just told the Medical Device Corporations that People are not what they care about, its the profit they obtain. Why is it OK to allow these people to Market and sell to surgeons without FDA approval prior to November 2009 with no warnings for Safe Use? Are we just going to let this happen? The manufacturers of the pumps need to do the right thing. Or the FDA needs to do something for the sake of human safety and future medical devices to be devloped for use in the surgery forum, and why were these people used as the Pain Pump Guinea Pigs?

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