What You Should Know About Suing a Drug Company - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

What You Should Know About Suing a Drug Company

Many new medical products make it to the market every year. There are drugs, but also paraphernalia you can use to carry or administer them. All of them should undergo rigorous testing before the company releases them.

The manufacturer can’t be one hundred percent sure that every drug and drug-related product is safe, though. They must do their due diligence, but sometimes they’ll discover later that there’s a defect with an equipment piece, or that a drug has some side effects they were not able to predict.

If you used that equipment or one of those drugs, you might decide that it makes the most sense to sue the drug or manufacturing company. When that happens, you’ll likely face an uphill battle.

Let’s go into a little detail about what you can expect if you’re gearing up to sue a drug or medical company.    

Product Liability Lawsuits

When you’re suing a drug company, this is a legal area that lawyers and the court system call product liability law. There are many examples every year of clients who try to get money out of drug companies for defective or dangerous products. Some lawyers specialize in this sort of suit.

For instance, there’s the drug Zantac, which people use for heartburn. As many as 60 million Americans each year deal with heartburn, so this drug being a bestseller makes total sense. As it turns out, though:

  • There is an increased cancer risk with Zantac
  • Zantac contains a high NDMA level, a substance which humans should not ingest

The FDA has told people to stop using Zantac if they haven’t already. Several people have already sued, and more probably will in the coming months and years. This is just one example of product liability lawsuits in action.

Hiring a Lawyer

If you’re thinking about filing suit against a drug company, the first thing that you should do is consult a lawyer. As we mentioned, some attorneys specialize in this sort of thing, and they should be able to tell you quickly whether you have a case or not.

You’ll have to decide whether you want to hire this individual or firm to represent you, and then you must determine if you’re going to pay them for their services:

  • On an hourly basis or upfront
  • On a contingency basis

If you’re paying on a contingency basis, that means if you don’t win your case, then you don’t have to pay the lawyer. If you’re paying hourly or upfront, you must pay regardless of whether you win.

When Do You Have a Case Against a Drug Company?

As for whether you have a valid case against the drug company or medical manufacturer, it’s going to come down to whether you can prove their product harmed you.

For instance, maybe you’ve been using a high blood pressure medication for years, and now you have colorectal cancer. New studies indicate that many of the individuals who’ve been using this drug are getting colorectal cancer as well.

You might have a case, but you’ll need to establish a definitive link between the drug use and this cancer type. That can be challenging. You might have to call on expert witnesses, professionals from the medical community.

If you can establish that there’s probably a link between the cancer and the drug you’ve taken, you should collect damages.

You Might Wish to Join a Class-Action Lawsuit

You’ll also have to decide whether or not to join a class-action lawsuit if there’s one that’s ongoing related to this particular issue. Using that same example, if many individuals have gotten cancer and used this same drug, they all might go after the manufacturer together.

It can be easier for you in some ways to take part in a class-action lawsuit. You’ll have to think carefully about whether that seems like the best way to go. If a well-known law firm represents you, one of the best in the business, that might compel you to get on board with them.

Were You Warned About the Drug or Product?

When you see a drug ad, you might notice the long list of possible side effects that the voiceover goes through at the end. That is the company trying to protect itself.

Sometimes, a manufacturer might come out with a drug or another medical product, and they know about a few of the adverse health risks that it poses. If they warn you about these potential issues, and you decide to take the drug anyway, then you likely won’t have a case if you want to sue them.

This can be one of the most essential factors in product liability lawsuits, so keep that in mind.

You Might Sue Other Entities as Well

You can sue the drug manufacturer, but you might also sue other entities involved with the medical problems you’re having. For instance, if a hospital gave you the drug, then you might sue them. You might sue a sales rep who sold the drug or a pharmacist who issued it.

You might even go after the physician who prescribed it. If any of them exhibited negligence, then you could collect a judgment against each of them in some situations.

The proof burden is not as high with product liability cases as with certain other law areas. Some of these entities might elect to settle out of court if they feel like they’re getting too much negative attention.

That might not even be them admitting liability for what happened. They may want the trial to end, and they’re willing to pay you to ensure that occurs expediently.

If the drug company or whatever other individual or entity you are suing decides to offer you a settlement, you’ll have to talk with your lawyer about taking it. You might get more if you continue forward with the suit.

If you’ve suffered a lot because of the faulty or dangerous product, that may be what you want to do.

 

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels


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  1. adwardline says:

    drugs are dangerous for health. it’s a very bad habit. Most young generation is involved in this habit.

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