New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Pharmaceutical Drug Liability and Personal Injury Lawsuits
Posted on May 26, 2016 in Personal Injury
Today, 50% of all people in the United States take at least one prescription drug. Medical device sales in the country have grown into an industry that is worth about $85 billion. Between 2006 and 2009, there was an increase of 309% in the total number of recalled drugs.
According to the FDA, serious complications from the use of medical devices have outpaced the growth of the industry by 8% each year since 2001.
Drugs and medicines are frequently the subject of product liability lawsuits. It is the duty of the manufacturers of these drugs to ensure that the drugs and medicines are appropriately tested before they are released into the market with the use of testing criteria for the US Food and Drug Administration.
These criteria are regarded as standards of the industry, but the fact that the drug was properly licensed by the FDA has no bearing on the manufacturer’s liability to an injured client or plaintiff, if it is proven that the drug is otherwise defective.
As in case of almost all medical products, other than over-the-counter drugs, there is a “learned intermediary” in most cases between a drug’s manufacturer and the person that uses that drug.
This may be the doctor who prescribes a medication, a nurse who provides the patient with directions on proper use, or the pharmacist who fills the prescription. In many cases, the lines of liability are not clear and an experienced attorney is required to help a plaintiff determine who deemed at fault for the patient’s injuries.
Unavoidable Unsafe Products
There are some prescription drugs that are considered “unavoidably unsafe” products, meaning that they cannot be made 100% safe regardless of how carefully they are manufactured. These kind of drugs have the potential to cause harmful side effects, but at the same time, they may have benefits for the user nonetheless. If manufacturers ensure that such drugs are properly prepared and adequate warnings are provided, they are usually unable to form the basis of a successful products liability lawsuit.
Duty to Warn
It is the duty of a manufacturer to warn about a drug’s side effects when it is understood that such side effects occur. However, it is not expected to provide warnings about unknown dangers. In most cases, this duty is discharged by the manufacturer by providing necessary information to doctors prescribing the medication to patients or to pharmacists.
The manufacturer of drugs is regarded as an expert in its particular field and as such, it is the continuing duty of the manufacturer to keep abreast of information and knowledge regarding its products and ensure that reasonable steps are taken to update medical professionals of their drugs’ potential dangers. However, they do not have a duty to warn of any plausible reactions in consumers who are unusually susceptible, but just because a reaction rarely occurs, it does not mean that the manufacturer does not have a duty to warn consumers about it or that the patients who experience the reaction are unusually susceptible.
Products liability lawsuits are often complex and requires the assistance and testimony of experts to establish legal fault. This is why you need to make sure you hire an experienced products liability attorney to help you with your case.
Win Your Case
If you or a loved one has been harmed or injured by a defective medication or drug, you should immediately seek the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280.
Nothing is guaranteed in life, but high taxes and death, but if you want to increase your chances to winning a lawsuit you need to give us a call. We know how to win cases; we win cases all the time. We know how to start a case and we know how to finish a case. RMFW Law has a fabulous list of happy clients, you can be one of them.