When to Seek the Help of a Dangerous Drugs Attorney
Thousands of Americans are injured every year by unsafe medicines or medical devices that were made and sold to the public without enough testing, safeguards or warnings. People affected by these unsafe products have the right to sue to recover lost wages or to receive other financial compensation as the result of serious disability or even death. Areas of law that cover these specific situations are pharmaceutical liability and medical device liability.
Because these are complicated specialties, anyone considering a lawsuit involving a prescription drug or medical device should seek the advice of an attorney who regularly practices in these areas. Pharmaceutical attorneys at Janet, Jenner & Suggs are national leaders in the field of dangerous drug and device litigation. We are available to review your situation and discuss your options. Frequently Asked Questions about Defective Medical Drugs and Device Lawsuits.
All consultations are free of charge.
Pharmaceutical Liability Attorneys
Liability means basically, who is responsible? When it comes to prescription medicines, manufacturers are required by law to submit their drugs to rigorous safety-testing before they are offered to the public. But sometimes this process is cut short, is rushed, or drugs are tainted during manufacturing. Sometimes, manufacturers claim their products are good for conditions other than those they were approved for. Drug manufacturers also have even been known to lie about test results in order to rush their products to market.
Regardless of the reason, if a drug hurts someone, there may be legal consequences. Injured people, or plaintiffs, can bring legal claims against the manufacturer for things like negligence or for failing to warn about potentially dangerous side effects. Attorneys with Janet, Jenner & Suggs can explain pharmaceutical liability law, advise you about your rights and help you decide whether you can pursue a claim about any harmful drug, including the following:
Medical Device Liability
Manufacturers of medical devices are also liable for harm caused by their products. Sometimes, these products contain design flaws, were not tested adequately, or were marketed to doctors and patients for uses other than those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Examples of medical devices include: defibrillators, breast and other cosmetic implants, orthopedic screws, hip implants, knee implants, heart valves and many other items.
Attorneys with Janet, Jenner & Suggs can talk to you about any medical device you suspect may have harmed you, including the following:
- Composix Kugel Mesh Hernia Repair Patch
- Vaginal Mesh Products
- Medtronic Sprint Fidelis Defibrillator Leads
- Hip and Knee Implants
- Pain Pumps
- Infuse Bone Grafts
Drug and Device Manufacturer Responsibilities
The companies that make prescription drugs and medical devices have a responsibility to do what’s necessary to ensure their products are safe. They also have a responsibility to explain the risks and benefits of their products in ways people can understand, and to continue to evaluate their products for safety as more people use them. When companies fail in these responsibilities, they can be held legally responsible to the people they hurt.
These responsibilities, called legal liabilities, include:
- Failure to Warn—While all medications have certain, anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer is responsible, legally, for reporting any known risks associated with its drugs. Medical device makers also have a duty to warn of side effects and to provide doctors with all the information they need to safely implant and monitor the device.
- Inadequate Warning—A drug or device manufacturer’s warning may be considered inadequate if it doesn’t reflect true risks to patients, or omits new information about risks, or is presented in such a way that it doesn’t convey the importance of the information.
- Negligence—A manufacturer can be accused of negligence, even of intentional or malicious conduct, if it fails to meet reasonable standards of testing, safe production, delivery or handling of a drug or device.
- False Marketing—Over-promotion and aggressive marketing and advertising efforts by the manufacturer can lead to more people being injured than otherwise would have occurred. Also, false marketing occurs when a company markets its products to doctors and the public for uses for which the product wasn’t originally approved.
- Tainted or Contaminated Drugs or Devices—Manufacturers that let plants become dirty or processes become faulty can be held liable for adverse product reactions.
Proving Your Case
The first step in establishing your case is to identify the defect or defects in the medication or medical device that caused your injury. It is possible that a particular drug is defective in more than one way. The second step is proving that the defect actually caused your injury. In order to prove this, you will need the assistance of an expert witness, usually a doctor, who will testify that the drug caused your injury.
Your attorney will collect information and evidence from the drug manufacturer or doctor (if he or she played a role in the injury) through a process called discovery. In discovery, the parties (called plaintiffs and defendants) can request documents from each other and take written testimony from witnesses, called depositions.
Evidence that may be helpful to your case includes: correspondence between the defendant and the FDA, reports of adverse drug reactions, materials from clinical trials, laboratory studies, sales and advertising information, product labels and inserts, complaints the manufacturer received about the drug, information about prior lawsuits and medical or scientific studies funded by the defendant.
Potentially Liable Parties
In addition to the company that manufactured the drug or medical device that injured you, you may also be able to pursue claims against the following parties:
- Physician who prescribed the medication or implanted the device
- Company that distributed the medication or device
- Pharmacist who dispensed the medication
- Nurse who administered the medication
- Hospital that employed the physician, nurse or registered pharmacist
Seek Legal Counsel Quickly If You Think You Have a Case
The sooner an attorney can begin collecting evidence in a legal case, the better. An experienced dangerous drugs attorney with Janet, Jenner & Suggs would be happy to talk to you to help you determine if you have a case or you can contact us online.