Product Liability: Surgical Device Makers Must Warn Purchasing Hospitals of Device Hazards

April 26, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​A medical device manufacturer has a legal duty to warn hospitals, as purchasers of products, about the products' dangers, and a manufacturer's warning to physicians, as users of such products, does not excuse the manufacturer from warning the hospital purchaser, the Supreme Court of Washington State held.

Explaining its ruling, the court stated that when a hospital purchases a product that is an extremely complex and inherently dangerous medical device, it is logical that hospitals would need product warnings. Hospitals are responsible for monitoring and controlling the quality of care provided by their medical staff, and thus hospitals need such product warnings in order to design a physician credentialing process that will keep patients as safe as possible, the court stated. A hospital cannot maintain the high standard that the law requires if manufacturers are excused...

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