Pharmaceutical Litigation Lawyers
product liability claims are against prescribed pharmaceuticals that injure patients allege side
effects unreasonably dangerous or of which the manufacturer, pharmacist,
or prescribing physician failed to warn. The antidepressant drugs Prozac
and Zoloft have been infamous targets of pharmaceutical product liability
litigation. Many prescription drugs, however, are notorious for serious
risks, and, if doctors advise their patients about them and the patients
decide nevertheless to assume the risks, they will have no valid, enforceable
legal claim even if they suffer serious harm as a result of their decision.
For any injury by a pharmaceutical drug there may be a defective product
claim similar to other such claims with some special features. There are
three categories of pharmaceutical product liability claims:
- Claims for defective manufacture,
- Claims for unreasonably dangerous side effects, and
- Claims for improper marketing.
In the first category, the defect may be the result of negligence or other
error at the factory that made or the pharmacy that dispensed the drug
or a problem in shipment or labeling, any mistake at any point between
where the drug originates the where the patient receives it.
The second category of claims involves pharmaceutical drugs with harmful
side effects, sometimes drugs on the market for long periods time before
discovery of their risks. In some cases, plaintiffs allege manufacturer
knowledge and deliberate concealment of the risks. If they prove such
allegations of egregious misconduct, they may win awards of punitive as
well as compensatory damages.
Claims of improper marketing of pharmaceutical drugs concern the directions,
instructions, or recommendations for use and the warnings about any dangers
of the drug. In this category are allegations of injuries from failures
to warn adequately or accurately about dangerous side effects or failures
to instruct properly about safe and correct use. A manufacturer, physician,
pharmacy, or another medical provider may be responsible for such alleged
omission or misinformation.
Defective pharmaceutical product lawsuits may combine multiple claims.
A claim of unreasonably dangerous side effects may combine with one for
failure to warn about them. Each claim may be against a different defendant.
To include all defendants in a pharmaceutical product liability lawsuit,
consider everyone in the path of distribution the drug takes from its
origin to the patient:
The Manufacturer - Most prescription drug producers are enormous commercial concerns befitting
their huge market and the immense technological facilities they need to
develop new drugs. They have the deep pockets for full and fair compensation
for injuries though they also retain teams of premium-priced lawyers to
defend them against such claims.
The Testing Laboratory - The dangerous drug may have had faulty testing before reaching the market,
and such testing laboratories are frequent defendants especially if independent
of the manufacturers.
The Pharmaceutical Salesman - Pharmaceutical producers often retain independent sales representatives
to promote and sell new drugs and to suggest to health care providers
selling points on their benefits. Such salesmen also may be liable for
recommending a drug that injures patients.
The Physician - The physician who prescribes a dangerous drug that causes injury also
may be liable as part of the path of distribution of the injurious drug
and for failure to warn patients about harmful side effects or to instruct
them on safe and proper use of it.
The Hospital or Clinic - Any hospital or clinic administering a drug becomes part of its path
of distribution from manufacturer to patient and may be liable for the
The Pharmacy - Drug stores are often end points in the path of distribution from drug
manufacturer to patient. A pharmacist's advice on use of the drug
may be an additional ground for liability.
In any legal action against a doctor or a hospital for an injury caused
by a drug, there may be claims for both medical malpractice and defective
pharmaceutical product liability. There is no need to choose between claims.
Plaintiffs may allege all claims which the facts alleged would support
when proven. *
Proof of Facts
The pharmaceutical product liability plaintiff must prove three factual
elements of the claim:
- Defective production or improper marketing of a dangerous drug
- The defect or improper marketing as the cause of the injury
How Much Time to Sue?
This important question is a matter of state law. Every state has a statute
of limitations on pharmaceutical product liability claims. A consultation
with a personal injury attorney experienced in pharmaceutical product
liability practice is the foolproof way to be sure to act in time.
Class Action Lawsuits
Commonly prescribed dangerous drugs sometimes injure many people similarly.
In such cases, injured claimants may be able to join together in class
If a class action is already underway against a dangerous drug, new plaintiffs
may be able to join and reap several advantages:
- Representation by lawyers with experience and expertise in big multi-claimant
cases against big corporate defendants
- Little or no upfront cost
- No personal need to study and comprehend complex legal issues
There is no obligation to join an ongoing class action. Every claimant
may file suit as an individual plaintiff instead, and this course may
be preferable for injuries substantially different from those of most
of the class action plaintiffs or for cases involving specially distinguishing
Consult a personal injury attorney to find out whether any class action
concerns the drug suspected of causing injury and whether it would be
worthwhile to join. A potential plaintiff who knows of such a class action
might contact the class attorneys directly; they are always interested
in enlarging the class. Such initial consultations are usually free.
In Any Event, Consult a Pharmaceutical Product Liability Attorney
Prescription drugs are figuratively double-edged swords, highly beneficial
for treatment of medical problems yet seriously harmful to patients susceptible
to injury from their side effects and sometimes dangerous generally when
manufacturers cut safety corners to rush them onto the market without
sufficient testing for precautions to prevent unnecessary risks. For any
illness or injury caused by any type of prescription medication, the experienced
pharmaceutical litigation team of attorneys at The Doan Law Firm (Doan) can help.
Doan specializes in cases nationwide of injuries caused by prescription
medication. The Doan attorney team has a track record of positive //results
recovering millions of dollars in damages for injured clients. Doan clients
receive the services of legal and engineering experts dedicated to achieving
the best //results possible for them.
Doan attorneys work for contingency fees. The contingent part of every
Doan client's legal fee agreement is that there is no legal fee at
all unless and until the client receives from a settlement or an award
of damages money to pay it. The fee is a proportion, usually a third,
of the total recovery less necessary costs. If the case turns out to be
a loser and there is no recovery, the client owes nothing, and Doan bears
the entire loss.
There never was and it is impossible to imagine that there ever will be
a better no-risk investment financially than the contingency fee agreement.
The contingent fee has been a great equalizer between wealthy parties
and those of modest means, who otherwise could not afford the costs of
litigation to enforce their claims for compensation.
Should a pharmaceutical product liability plaintiff be assisted and represented
by a personal injury attorney experienced in that practice? The answer
is yes in all cases, no exceptions. There is no substitute for the advice
and advocacy of an attorney for plaintiffs confronting powerful, resourceful
opponents like pharmaceutical manufacturers. Find out more about how Doan
can help recover full and fair compensation for all costs and injuries
in pharmaceutical cases.
Call us at 800-349-0000 today for a free case consultation at no obligation.
* "A pleading that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a
demand for the relief sought, which may include relief in the alternative
or different types of relief," Rule 8(a), Federal Rules of Civil