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Faulty Heart Valve Implants Make Patients Fear for Their Lives

Mechanical Heart Valve Devices Still a Concern for Many

Every day, patients with heart problems rely upon the advice of their doctors and surgeons to make decisions on having surgery to install mechanical heart valves and pacemakers. In the vast majority of cases, these products have been shown to be reliable and safe. Unfortunately, there are instances where manufacturers withhold information on problems, and unforeseen issues can arise at any time with such devices. 

A good example of this occurred some years back when the Björk–Shiley heart valve implant was found to be prone to sudden failure. The device had been implanted in 80,000 patients worldwide and even though the manufacturer became aware of the potential for catastrophic failure, they did not bother to inform doctors, surgeons or patients until lawsuits over their heart valve implant became news stories. All told, 619 of the devices broke. Two-thirds of those with broken implants died as a result.

Milwaukee Personal Injury Lawsuits over Heart Valve Failure

Statistically, the fatalities caused by failed medical devices seems quite small and you might be inclined to dismiss them. Unless, of course, you’re one of the unlucky ones living with the knowledge your implant could fail at any moment, or your husband or wife died as a result of one of these implants failing.

We’ll never forget one of our clients, Janice, whose husband Tom died after his heart valve implant fractured. She told us how Tom had lived the last year and a half of his life consumed with anxiety over the knowledge his hi-tech heart valve could break at any time. Having surgery to replace it was deemed riskier than taking a chance on it remaining intact. Unfortunately, it didn’t. When it failed, a piece of broken plastic lodged in his heart. Despite being rushed to the hospital, there was nothing they could do.

We also filed suit against the maker of the Björk–Shiley heart valve on behalf of a Wauwatosa man who was living in constant mental anguish over the potentially lethal heart valve in his chest. Globally, so many suits were filed the company and its parent company Pfizer as to necessitate the establishment of a fund solely for counseling patients with potentially faulty valves and for covering the cost of surgeries to replace their valves.

Although later models of the Björk–Shiley heart valve addressed the problems which caused the failure, there are still patients out there with older versions of these mechanical heart valves. For them, it is like living with a time bomb in their heart. The risk of the valve failing has to be weighed against the risk of having surgery to replace the valve. In some cases, it just isn’t worth the risk.

Warshafsky Personal Injury Attorneys on Pacemaker Lawsuits

Over the years, pacemaker devices have been the subject of numerous recalls and lawsuits. While most manufacturers produce reliable, lifesaving products, there have been numerous instances where these products fail catastrophically, causing serious injuries and deaths.

One of the more high-profile examples involved Medtronic’s Sigma and Kappa pacemakers (as well as other medical devices manufactured by them). It was found these pacemakers could have faulty wiring which would cause them to malfunction or fail. Lawsuits against the company have become so numerous there are even law firms which only handle Medtronics lawsuits. 

If you have one of these Medtronic pacemakers, or a potentially faulty model from another manufacturer, our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys can help you recover for medical expenses related to the failure of device, as well as for the physical and emotional pain you have suffered. We also represent the spouses and children of those who have died as a result of failed pacemakers.

Free Initial Consultation with a Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney

Warshafsky Law offers a free consultation with one of our experienced, Milwaukee personal injury attorneys. From faulty hip replacements to faulty pacemakers and everything in between, we want to help victims of failed medical devices recover. If it looks like you have sufficient grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, we will offer our services at no cost whatsoever. Only after your case has been resolved and you have received payment for your claim do we ask for compensation.

Additionally, our No Win, No Fee policy ensures that if we do not prevail in your case, you don’t owe us a thing. With Warshafsky Law, there is never any financial risk to you, only the potential for a huge win.

Contact Warshkafsky Law today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys.
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Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorneys


Warshafsky is a based-in-Milwaukee personal injury law firm serving the injured since the 1950s.

Warshafsky has brought hundreds of successful lawsuits against auto makers, drug companies and insurance companies. Many clients choose us in part because we are able and willing to fund a case fully through trial and even appeal. Insurance companies value your claim based on the quality of your lawyer. No other Wisconsin law firms boast a board-certified accident investigator and a doctor who is also a lawyer and an attorney who represented insurance companies.

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