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02.14.2014 iStock_000015850102SmallCertain careers have a title that sounds like an expert – medical doctor, physicist, chemist, and biomedical engineer.  By the sounds of it, you know it involves advanced degrees, research, and precision.

The biomedical engineer expert witness may be called to consult on products liability cases, particularly those involving medical devices.  In these cases, the testimony may involve requested medical treatment and a course of action leading to an implant, as well as damages suffered as a result of the implant.  The biomedical engineer expert witness comes into present expert testimony on arguments like defective design, failure rates, and comparative medical products.


A recent case on orthopedic implants resulted both in a judgment for the plaintiffs and in a recall.  The biomedical engineer was able to use the defendant company’s internal communication to establish knowledge of an inferior product design relative to competitor products.  Cases in this field of product liability touch upon manufacturers, as well as suppliers and maintainers of medical equipment.

The biomedical engineer uses engineering principles to improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare research and medical treatment through technology.  In-depth knowledge of biology and technology is required in this discipline.  The field combines many disciplines, from anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, to engineering.

Biomedical engineering gets into newer frontiers like engineered tissues, signaling networks and the inflammatory response, functional attachment of soft tissue to bone, nanoparticles for drug delivery, breast image analysis, and cardiovascular magnetic resonance.

Aside from product liability cases, biomedical engineer experts are also hired to consult on medical technology patents in intellectual property cases.  Many biomedical engineers have advanced degrees and can be found doing research on the cutting edge.

By Paloma A. Capanna, Attorney at Law & Policy Analyst