If you or a loved one has been injured by a pharmaceutical drug, you may be able to file a liability claim to recover damages. These cases are similar to product liability claims, but pharmaceutical drug liability claims are far more complicated.
Do not attempt to handle a drug liability case by yourself. Hire expert legal counsel from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today. Call us for a free consultation to develop the first steps you need to take to be awarded maximum compensation.
What is pharmaceutical drug liability?
Drug liability occurs when a drug manufacturer or someone within the supply chain provides a defective product to customers. Much like a standard product liability case, individuals who are directly harmed by using prescribed medication as directed are eligible to receive compensation.
For example, if you took your daily birth control pill only to find out all your pills were defective and you became pregnant, you would be eligible to sue.
What is the duty of a drug manufacturer?
Any medical care provider, including a manufacturer, has a duty to provide their patients with a reasonable level of care. When it comes to medications, this means conducting proper testing before release, describing the side effects properly, and ensuring that they continue to produce a functional product.
Pharmaceutical drugs must be properly labeled to warn physicians and users of any side effects. If they are not, the individual in the supply chain who stopped providing this information can be held liable when they occur.
Types of Drug-Related Product Liability Cases
There are three types of drug-related product liability claims.
Defectively Manufactured Pharmaceutical Drugs
Any injuries caused by a drug that was not made properly or became tainted during the manufacturing process may lead to this type of drug liability case. This type of defect may occur due to the fault of an individual who made an error at the factory, if the drug is improperly stored, or if there is a problem with shipping.
Essentially, this category is applicable for any situation where a mistake occurs that renders the drug ineffective for its intended purpose.
Drugs with Dangerous Side Effects
If a properly manufactured drug leads to a side effect that results in an injury, this is the type of drug liability case to file. Sometimes, drugs that have been on the market for a long time have new tests done that discover risks previously unknown. In this case, the manufacturer has a duty to immediately warn the public of these side effects.
If they knowingly hide the knowledge for any length of time and a victim can prove it, the victim will be able to sue for maximum damages and potentially punitive damages as well.
Improperly Marketed Pharmaceutical Drugs
In this case, “marketing” refers to the warnings that are associated with drugs. Injuries caused by a failure to report warnings of dangerous side effects or failing to give instructions for safe use of a product are liable in this way. This claim could find multiple entities in the supply chain responsible for any harm that comes to an individual.
These claims can be combined to create a pharmaceutical drug liability claim. In many cases, defective drugs go hand in hand with improper warnings.
Who is liable for a pharmaceutical drug liability claim?
To determine who is responsible for injuries caused by a drug, one must examine the supply chain of the drug from inception to distribution to use. Following this path will help the victim find all entities who came in contact with the drug and could have prevented it from going to market.
If you were injured due to a defective drug, you may be able to hold the following individuals liable:
Taking on a manufacturer typically means suing a pharmaceutical company, a large corporation with the power and money to hire powerful legal teams to defend them. However, these companies are commonly cited in lawsuits, which may help your ability to collect compensation.
The drug that you used must have passed inspection in a testing laboratory before its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You should include these labs in your suit, even if the labs are independent of the manufacturer. They would have been able to spot defects, side effects, and ensure proper warnings.
Pharmaceutical sales reps are a tool in the medical community for spreading drugs throughout hospitals. They distribute the drug and make recommendations on its use and side effects. If they recommended the drug that injured you, they may be liable.
Doctors have a duty to be informed about the medication they provide to patients and to give their patients proper instructions on how to use the drug. If the doctor failed to warn a patient about side effects, how to use the drug, or failed to stop prescribing the drug after recalls, they would be liable.
Any hospital or clinic that was part of the chain of distribution of the drug that injured you can be held liable.
Pharmacies are often the final point on the chain before the drug reaches the consumer. They have a duty to counsel patients on side effects and proper use. Additionally, they have a duty to properly store medications to ensure their viability. If they fail to do any of these duties, then they can be held liable.
Get a Review of Your Pharmaceutical Drug Liability Claim
Being injured by medication that is supposed to help you is a violation of your trust. If anyone in the supply chain violates that trust, then they risk hurting thousands of individuals. A West Palm Beach product liability lawyer or a Boca Raton product liability lawyer can help with any legal advice you may need.
If you have been injured by pharmaceutical drugs, we can help you file a drug liability claim and win the maximum damages. Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a free consultation.