Shoulder Pain Pump Trial Results in $4.75M Verdict Against I-Flow
An Oregon jury has awarded $4.75 million following shoulder pain pump trial involving a plaintiff who alleged that the I-Flow On-Q Painbuster destroyed cartilage in his shoulder when it was used to deliver pain medication following arthroscopic surgery.
The verdict was returned on Friday in Multnomah County, Oregon in a case filed by Matthew Beale against I-Flow Corp., which was acquired last year by Kimberly-Clark Corp. The shoulder pump lawsuit is one of several hundred cases filed throughout the United States involving similar allegations against I-Flow and other pain pump manufacturers, such as Breg, Inc., Stryker Corp. and DePuy, Inc.
Intra-articular use of the infusion pumps to deliver a combination of pain medications directly into the shoulder joint during the days after arthroscopic shoulder surgery has been linked to a risk of shoulder chondrolysis, which involves the progressive destruction of cartilage in the shoulder. This could result in reduced range of motion, pain, clicking and popping in the shoulder joint, potentially resulting in the need for a shoulder replacement surgery.
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Beale received a shoulder pain pump after tearing a bicep in 2004. His doctor inserted an I-Flow On-Q Pain Buster instead of prescribing oral pain medications. According to the complaint, Beale soon began to experience clicking noises and pain from his shoulder, and his doctors subsequently determined that the cartilage in his shoulder had eroded away in a short matter of time.
As a result of the shoulder damage, Beale has limited motion in his arm and experiences intense pain. He also claimed that he will have to undergo numerous shoulder replacement surgeries and will likely have to retire early as the pain intensifies over the years.
Following a three-week trial, the jury ordered I-Flow Corp to pay $4.75 million, including $1.3 million in compensation for Beale’s wife, Krista. I-Flow allegedly encouraged doctors to use the OnQ Pain Buster, even though it was not approved by the FDA for intra-articular use following arthroscopic surgery.
In November 2009, the FDA warned health care professionals that the use of pain pumps following surgery to continuously infuse medication in this manner has been linked to problems with chondrolysis of the shoulder. The FDA required the manufacturers of the local anesthetics and makers of the pumps to add new warnings about the risk of chondrolysis, particularly involving the shoulder.
Hundreds of shoulder pump lawsuits are currently pending in different state and federal courts throughout the country, with several other shoulder surgery pump trials scheduled throughout 2010.
In August 2008, The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied a request to consolidate and centralize all federal cases before one judge in an MDL, or multidistrict litigation. At that time, the MDL panel found that consolidating the cases was not appropriate because the shoulder pump litigation involved a number of different manufacturers of pain pumps and different medications used in the devices.
Attorneys representing plaintiffs in the cases have indicated that they intend to renew their request to consolidate the federal lawsuits at a hearing before the MDL panel scheduled for later this week.
The Beale shoulder pump trial was being closely followed by lawyers involved in the cases, as it was viewed as a good gauge on how juries will respond to similar evidence presented in other cases throughout the country.
lisaOctober 19, 2010 at 4:00 am
iI CAUGHT MRSA IN GREENVILLE SC, IN 2006 AND ALL I DO IS WISH THEY WOULD DO MORE THEN ONE INSPECTION ON THE JAIL.THATS NOT GOING TO HELP,THEY NEED TO SUREPRISE THEM AT LEAST THREE TIMES AMONTH OR MORE .THE JAIL IS NOT CLEAN AT ALL.
lauralOctober 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm
The I-Flow Corp, just won a case in Oregon over the Pain Pump with all the evidence pointing to the use of this device after shoulder surgery, the three plaintiffs walked away from this lawsuit with nothing but I quote " the plaintiffs in this case look good and are resilient and have a good support system" How much did they Pay the jury?????
MarvinJanuary 25, 2010 at 8:56 pm
I had a pain pump in my shoulder after surgery. The reason they put the pain pump in is so they could save money at first my doctor said 3 days in the hospital instead it was a same day surgury now I have lost moton and my hand shakes ,with alot of pain from this Pain Pump .
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