Stryker settles product liability investigations for $80 million

Illinois product liability law flows from the principle that a manufacturer can be liable for injuries or deaths caused by a product that is unreasonably dangerous when put to its intended use. A product can be unreasonably dangerous due to a defective design, a manufacturing defect or the failure to provide adequate warnings of potential hazards.

Medical products can be dangerous if defective. Stryker Corporation, a manufacturer of orthopedic devices, recently settled civil and criminal investigations by the U.S. Justice Department stemming from Stryker’s marketing of its orthopedic knee replacement product. The matter was finally settled by the company for a whopping $80 million.

In order to hold a manufacturer liable for injury to a consumer caused by a defective product, a three-pronged test has been formulated under Illinois law. First, it must be proved that due to a negligent act, or omission of a necessary act, by the producer or manufacturer, the product has suffered a defect. Next, the consumer using the product must have suffered an injury. Lastly, a correlation needs to be established between the defective product and the injury caused to the consumer to recover damages in a product liability lawsuit.

In order to determine liability in a defective product case, Illinois courts apply the test of reasonable foresight. Thus, the lawyers for the victim have to prove that the manufacturer should have foreseen that a defect of the kind at issue had the potential to injure the consumer. An individual who believes they have been injured by a defective product can learn more about their options by consulting an experienced product liability attorney.

Source:, “Stryker to pay $80 million to settle OtisMed case,” Tess Stynes, Dec. 8, 2014