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Dopson, Song and Torrence Obtain SJ in 3D Printed Orthopedic Implant Case; Could Be First of Its Kind Filed in CA

December 1, 2017

Genese Dopson (Partner-San Francisco), Jianlin Song (Of Counsel-San Francisco) and Francis Torrence (Of Counsel-San Francisco) obtained summary judgment for a manufacturer of 3D printed, customized orthopedic implants in a product liability/personal injury case venued in Superior Court for the County of San Mateo, California. The plaintiff alleged excruciating pain and limited motion when the device was implanted in her right knee, and asserted manufacturing defect, design defect and failure to warn causes of action sounding in both strict liability and negligence. At the court hearing for the motion for summary judgment, Wilson Elser attorneys persuaded the Court that the plaintiff had produced no evidence to show defect of the device, and that the defendant manufacturer had produced probative evidence showing that (1) the manufacturing process of the device was inspected by the FDA who issued continuous compliance, (2) the final product passed all quality inspections and was in conformity with the plaintiff’s anatomy, and (3) the design and labeling of the device were reviewed and cleared by the FDA through the section 510(k) process. The court found that the plaintiff’s allegation of injury and two image studies suggesting device misalignment were not sufficient to create a triable issue of fact. This case is likely one of the first product liability cases filed in California that involved a 3D printed implantable medical device. 

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