Former Major League Baseball Ump Wins Faulty Medical Device Settlement
New Haven, CT (Law Firm Newswire) June 14, 2011 - Mark Hirschbeck is getting a little bit of his life back now that a settlement has been reached after years of wrangling with Wright Medical Technology and his former doctor, John Keggi. Hirschbeck was a Major League Baseball umpire for 15 years before he had to get hip replacement surgery. He did extensive research about the best doctors in the area before he chose Dr. Keggi, who recommended a ceramic hip replacement from Wright Medical.
Yet a month after surgery, as Hirschbeck was at home watching TV, he heard a pop. Reports show that the ceramic hip had exploded. The former ump later found out that Wright had paid thousands of dollars to a foundation that Keggi helped run and also doled out a trip to a Bahamas conference for him. Many surgeries, and even a hip infection, left Hirschbeck permanently disabled and unable to be in the sport in which he loved officiating.
“The lawsuit showed that the hip device had a manufacturing defect,” said Connecticut personal injury attorney Joel T. Faxon. “Under the state’s malfunction doctrine, we proved through circumstantial evidence that defects of this nature should not occur in a medical device.”
As an umpire, Hirschbeck earned more than $350,000 a year and got to officiate at the 2001 World Series. His brother John is also a Major League Baseball umpire. Hirschbeck was pushing for a $3 million judgment against the device maker, but the final settlement is confidential. He is still advocating for the Medical Device Safety Act so that individuals have a right to go after a medical device manufacturer that has a defective product or inadequate safety warnings. Currently, devices that are FDA approved have immunity.
The settlement was reached just as the trial was about to begin. “Manufacturers fail when they compromise an individual’s safety and livelihood,” Faxon said. “Hirschbeck can never fully regain his stature in the MLB, but at least justice has been served so he can take the steps to get a small part of his health back.”
The Stratton Faxon trial attorneys are accomplished in product liability and serious injury cases. The firm vigilantly protects victims’ rights and the right to trial by jury. They have successfully won high-dollar cases for their clients so that these victims have the best chances for complete and full recovery of lifetime benefits.
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