Oxygen, though essential for breathing, is a volatile substance with the potential to ignite, explode, or catch fire. Thankfully, modern medicine discovered how to harness this substance so that those that need it on a regular basis could use it. However, the risks are still present, especially if the product is mishandled or ends up being a defective medical device. One of the two scenarios are behind a recent recall on portable oxygen tanks manufactured by Western/Scott Fetzer Company; which scenario has yet to be determined.
Reason Behind the Recall
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Western/Scott Fetzer Company received reports that their OxyTote canisters could ignite and cause an internal flash fire if dropped or mishandled. Two incidents—one resulting in injury, the other in death—were also allegedly received by the company, prompting the oxygen tank recalls. In the case of the injury, the unit was reportedly dropped from a height of approximately four feet; when the death occurred, the unit was not dropped but was reportedly set at the side of the handler.
Although the FDA says the recall was originally initiated in January 2015, the agency issued emails and an FDA MedWatch alert on the devices on September 15, 2015. Those affected include distributors, service providers, end-users, hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities that employ the use of oxygen for patients. Specific instructions, based on the type of facility, can be found on the FDA's website. Customers (end-users) are encouraged to quarantine any affected devices and then contact their supplier to schedule a remediation of the products in their possession. Specific model numbers may also be located on the FDA's website.
When Defective Medical Devices Lead to Death and Injury
Medical devices are created with the purpose of helping those in need. Therefore, it is a direct contradiction of their nature when those devices are defective. So is it really that unreasonable to expect superior quality of product and top-notch quality assurance to make sure the public does not suffer death or injury because of a medical device?
We think not.
Yet so many companies and corporations try to worm their way out of paying benefits to those killed or injured by their defective products. Or they find ways to reduce the amount they have to pay out to victims. Do not let this happen to you or your loved one. Instead, seek help from a qualified defective products attorney today.
At [[title]], we fight for the ordinary people and stand by the victims to help them receive fair compensation for their loss or injury. With more than 30 years of legal experience, our Chicago product liability attorneys can provide the skills, knowledge, and understanding needed for your case. Call our offices for a free consultation at [[phone]].