Compensating Patients For Defective Drugs
Everyday products designed to make tasks easy and convenient may sometimes malfunction, causing the user serious injury or, in some cases, death. While the malfunction of these products may sometimes be due to user error, they can also be due to a defect in the product itself, making it unfit for use. This is even more concerning if the product in question is a drug meant to heal and make the patient feel better, and instead causes irreparable harm. There are several ways in which a person can bring a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer due to injuries caused by their drug.
There are generally three ways under which a defective drug lawsuit may be brought against a manufacturer or others in the distribution chain between the manufacturer and the patient:
- Manufacturing Defect – When the end product is not as it was intended or designed to be, even though the manufacturer took all possible care in the drug’s production and marketing.
- Design Defect – When the end product or drug could have been made safer by using a different design and the failure to do this caused the drug to be unsafe.
- Warning Defect – When the end product’s foreseeable risks of harm could have been reduced or removed by the use of proper warning labels, and the lack of proper labels causes the drug to be unsafe.
Although drugs released into the general market have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA, there are still drugs that are allowed in the market that are dangerous because of their side effects. For example, a drug that may be effective in treating migraines may be approved for that use after testing, and later be discovered to cause heart defects as a side effect. Manufacturers have a duty to disclose all known side effects of the drugs they make, but this does not always happen. In some instances, a patient can also bring a claim against a manufacturer of a drug if the manufacturer fails to properly label a drug and provide warnings of known side effects, especially if the side effect is known to the manufacturer. Additionally, the manufacturer could be held liable if it labeled the drug, but failed to properly label it or labeled it in a manner that was not readily understandable. Therefore the presence of a warning label does not always mean a patient cannot sue for damages caused by a defective drug.
Class Action Lawsuits
If a drug is popular and prescribed often by doctors, a lot of people may be injured by the drug before it is clear that the drug is a problem. When there are a wide group of people affected by the same drug, courts may allow them to combine their claims against a manufacturer in a group lawsuit called a class action lawsuit. It is best to consult with an attorney before seeking to join a class action lawsuit to see what your options are depending on your injuries.
Contact A Fort Lauderdale Drug Litigation Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured while using a defective drug, you may be able to get compensation for those injuries. Florida law limits the amount of time a person may sue for injuries caused by a defective drug, contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale drug litigation attorneys at Boone & Davis for a consultation today.