Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. has amended the complaint filed against Advanced Bionics Corporation, related to defective cochlear implants implanted in young children and adults. Some of the firm’s clients have suffered multiple implant surgeries due to a defective implant being surgically removed and replaced with a second defective implant that later failed.

Weitz & Luxenberg’s initial lawsuits focused on defective Advanced Bionics HiRes90k cochlear implants. Those devices were the subject of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lawsuit that was settled in July 2008 with a $1,100,000 fine against Advanced Bionics and a $75,000 fine against Advanced Bionics’ CEO Jeffery Greiner, individually. Weitz & Luxenberg is now also accepting cases involving Advanced Bionics’ earlier Clarion implant model based on similar defects and failures.

The defective implants have an especially devastating impact on young implanted children and their families. This is because the earlier the implantation the more likely the child will develop hearing, speech, language and cognitive skills at a level similar to a normal hearing child. When that process is disrupted due to a defective implant, valuable time in linguistic development is lost.

The firm’s clients range in age from 5 to 81 and vary widely in terms of whether they were born deaf, or lost their hearing gradually or suddenly. Yet virtually all enjoyed and appreciated being able to hear with a cochlear implant prior to their implant failures.

Potential symptoms of defective cochlear implants include:

A sudden sensation of discomfort or pain;

A sudden loud noise or popping sound;

An intermittent functioning;

A complete loss of sound;

In infants or children, an unwillingness to wear the external headpiece, crying or fussiness when the sound processor is turned on, lack of expected progress or diminished progress in achieving speech/language milestones, or apparent loss of audiological benefit.