Insulin Pump Manufacturer Medtronic Faces Another Wrongful Death Suit Over Defective Pumps
Medtronic Inc, an insulin pump manufacturer, is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after a consumer died as a result of using their pump. The lawsuit was brought by a plaintiff in Nevada on behalf of herself and her deceased husband. The lawsuit is one of several wrongful death claims against the insulin pump manufacturer.
The plaintiff, Gloria Jean Roget, filed the suit on behalf of herself and her late husband, Andre Carl Roget. Roget’s husband was prescribed Medtronic’s MiniMed 630G insulin infusion pump in January 2019. However, the suit details that Roget was experiencing issues with the pump and that the system was issuing too much insulin which ultimately led him to suffer severe hypoglycemia. After going into a diabetic coma, he eventually lost his life on May 14, 2020.
The lawsuit details that Medtronic had issued a recall on the infusion sets in 2017. However, Roget details that she “does not remember receiving any notification of the recall, nor does she remember her husband receiving any notification of the recall.”
In addition to failing to conform to the approval process before hitting the global market and failing to adhere to other FDA regulations, Roget argues that Medtronic was negligent in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of the pump. After the pump was recalled, Roget details that Medtronic “negligently failed to remove the recalled infusion sets from the marketplace and stream of commerce.”
This latest lawsuit comes on the heels of similar suits that allege negligence in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of the brand's pumps and infusion sets.
In 2015, the executor of a New Jersey man’s will sued Medtronic over the wrongful death of Charles Slack. Slack died after failing to receive the proper amount of insulin. The lawsuit details that "The pump, set and reservoir failed to take the necessary, expected and warranted steps to alert of the failure." As a result of this failure, Slack suffered severe medical distress including being left unconscious, “lying in his urine drenched bed” and eventually being hospitalized and left in a coma. Despite his battle, Slack passed away weeks later.
In Slack’s case, there was a Class I recall issued for his pump along with a warning letter sent out from the FDA to Medtronic. The letter detailed that the company’s manufacturing operations which were located in Puerto Rico had not been properly responding to customer complaints. The warning letter highlighted that some of the employees who were in charge of noting customer issues and testing the pumps were workers who had only a high school diploma, possibly lacking the necessary knowledge and skills to adequately oversee and/or assess operations and the functioning of the pumps.
Slack’s lawsuit followed another similar case in which another patient using the same infusion set passed away as a result of diabetic hypoglycemia. Her family also moved forward with a similar wrongful death lawsuit in 2012.
In this latest suit, Roget is seeking compensatory damages for medical bills, emotional distress, and other economic and tangible losses. The suit is also seeking punitive and exemplary damages along with any other relief the court deems appropriate.