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Plan To Sue A Slipshod Supplier To Recoup A Civil Litigation Judgment? When It Comes To Implantable Device Parts, You May Have To Think Again

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

While negligent suppliers of failing components are typically sued by end-product manufacturers to recover their fair share of civil or government money damages, vendors that sell parts for most implantable devices are largely shielded from liability by a not-oft-talked-about federal act. The Biomaterials Assurance Act of 1998 "provides immunity for suppliers of components in medical devices based on the notion that it’s the manufacturer of the actual device that is responsible for ensuring the safety of the products before they’re put onto market," attorney Lauren Colton says. "And under that act, a component part-maker is given immunity." Also: Device-maker B. Braun might have a long row to hoe if it chooses to recoup litigation costs from its former supplier of syringes. That's because the manufacturer knew the syringes were possibly contaminated and sold them anyway, leading to a nearly $8m penalty from the US Department of Justice.

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