TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Monday, November 14, 2011

Implied Warranty, Products Liability and Medical Device Cases

Interesting analysis of whether a learned intermediary (i.e., the prescribing/treating physician) voids a claim for breach of implied warranty in a medical device products case from the good people at Drug and Device Blog

In a relatively recent case, Currier v. Stryker Corp., 2011 WL 4898501 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 13, 2011), the court stated, with respect to a claim for implied warranty

Because this is a medical implant case, and the [complaint] alleges that the product was surgically inserted in a hospital, the Court cannot plausibly infer from the [complaint] that Plaintiff relied on anything other than his physician's skill and judgment in selecting the . . . product, nor that any purchase of the product was based on a warranty from the manufacturer to Plaintiff. The Court cannot plausibly infer that there is a relationship between the Defendants and Plaintiff that would allow Plaintiff to state a breach of warranty claim.

Id. at *4. The court seems to be saying that, in a prescription medical product liability case, there can’t be an implied warranty claim unless the plaintiff, as opposed to the prescribing physician, relied on the alleged warranty.


D&D does its usually thorough job of canvassing other states' law to see how widespread this approach may be.   Worth a read.


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